Saturday, February 09, 2008

Boleyn Background

As a lifelong addicted reader, I have to admit that my first drug of choice is historical fiction. If a book is set in Renaissance times, so much the better.

Thus I enjoyed a thrilling "reader's high" while devouring The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, a tale of Anne Boleyn's sister, after its prequel, The Constant Princess, which recounts the youthful years of Henry VIII's hapless first wife and sets the stage for Anne Boleyn's entrance. Among the countless good things my daughter does for me, loaning me these two absorbing novels is the most recent.

The Other Boleyn Girl is scheduled to be released as a movie late this month, with a stellar cast. If you're a fast reader, you have a couple of weeks to catch the story where it deserves to be discovered, in literary form. Author Philippa Gregory has the excellent writer's gift for breathing authentic life into these historical characters in the grip of their personal dramas. If the movie is done well, I suspect that book sales will soar following its debut.

I'll certainly want to see this one in the movie theater, even though Eric Bana as King Henry stretches my imagination, and Scarlett Johansson's hotdog bun Botox lips are sure to be a modern distraction in the setting of Tudor England. I've willingly suspended disbelief for much less valid movie topics.

So away and Godspeed to merry olde England in a fortnight.