Now, these questions have been long overdue, so for the love of King Henry VIII and his disgustingly fascinating court, courtiers and whor—er, wenches, let’s start! *g*
- Why does Philippa Gregory choose Mary to narrate the story? Keeping in mind the relationship between the observer and those observed, is Mary a good, trustworthy narrator? As Mary ages, how is her loss of innocence reflected in her telling of the story?
- Mary professes her love and admiration for Queen Katherine and feels she can’t betray her. In what ways are her honorable ideals compromised as she embarks on her adulterous affair with the king? Recount the whirlwind of events preceding Anne’s becoming queen. Do you agree that “from start to finish” Mary “had no choice” but to betray Queen Katherine?
- In general, what are your impressions of the sisters? Keep in mind Anne and Mary’s discussion: “So who would come after me? ... I could make my own way.” Also, when Anne says, “Hear this, Mary... I will kill you.” Why are these statements significant, particularly given their timing?
- Share some of the characteristics that you like about historical fiction. For you, what aspect of TOBG stands out the most? How does the book change your impressions of life in King Henry VIII’s court? Discuss the level of corruption in the court. Does it surprise you? Were you aware of Anne’s dogged and exhausting pursuit of the king? Did the way Anne became queen shock you?
Labels: bitches book club