As I mentioned before, every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in February). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.
This week's assignment was to read from Spring 1521 to the end of Spring 1524. Of course, you are welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this first section. Also, if you're just joining and want to catch up, here's last week discussion.
The next assignment: Read from Summer 1529 to the end of Summer 1533.
Ready to discuss the latest section of The Other Boleyn Girl? Just
- In this section, George characterizes Mary as "a piece of soft manchet bread nibbled by ducks . . . being eaten alive by every one of us." Is that how you see her? Or is there something stronger-willed in her after all?
- Anne makes a play for the king after Mary gives birth. Do you think that move was ruthless and cold? Or was it just what she needed to do to help her family get ahead?
- What do you make of Mary's experience of childbirth and of having to give up her child to be raised by others?
- There are numerous references in this section to the worthlessness of a woman's education, at least when compared to her ability to marry and bear children. Are there other valuable qualities in women of this era? What are the most valuable qualities in men?
- George's sexuality becomes an issue in this section, when he admits to his sisters that he favors men. How dangerous is it for him to admit that? Do you think Anne was right to react with anger about what his sexuality could do to their family?
- With all the pressures the queen faces, and all the insistence on being able to cater to the king's any whim and any mood at any time, who would even want the job? Does Anne see the downsides to being queen at all? Does she not care, or is she just naive?