This has to be one of my favourite books of all time for it is the one that made my name, was adapted by the BBC and Hollywood, and established the style that has come to be my 'signature' style: the first person view of history from a lesser known, or perhaps unknown, historical character. Mary Boleyn was a great find and this novel has given rise to three biographies about her, and established her as a historical character instead of being the sister that nobody knew about.
King Henry VIII is married to his brother's widow, Katherine of Aragon, who has given him a daughter, Princess Mary. An attractive and
charismatic king, Henry quickly created a grand and fashionable court, full of
celebration and pleasure. When Katherine cannot give him the son that he needs and his lover's sister Anne Boleyn arrives at court, he decides to take action that will change England and its religion forever.
'The Other Boleyn Girl' was adapted for film in 2008. Starring Scarlett Johansson (Mary Boleyn), Natalie Portman (Anne Boleyn), Eric Bana (Henry VIII), Jim Sturgess (George Boleyn), Benedict Cumberbatch (William Carey) and Eddie Redmayne (William Stafford).
It was also adapted by the BBC for television in 2003. Starring Natascha McElhone (Mary Boleyn), Jodhi May (Anne Boleyn), Jared Harris (Henry VIII), Steven Mackintosh (George Boleyn), Anthony Howell (William Carey) and Philip Glenister (William Stafford).
Winner: Romantic Novel of the Year Award (2002)