The Other Boleyn Girl Chapter 1
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- The book is about to begin. Drumroll please…
- "I could hear a roll of muffled drums" (1.1.), says our narrator. Thank you, thank you.
- But the drumroll isn't to introduce an entertainer. It's to introduce the Duke of Buckinghamshire, who is to be executed.
- Actually, this could be considered entertainment in the 16th century.
- What's the Duke's crime? Saying that the king "would likely die without a son to succeed him on the throne" (1.3).
- In other words, the Duke's crime is speaking the truth.
- Our narrator, Mary Boleyn, is the Duke's niece, and she expects the king to step in and pardon him before the executioner's axe falls.
- When her uncle's head bounces into a nearby haystack, Mary realizes she was wrong.
- Mary's mother tells her she was stupid for thinking her Uncle might be pardoned. "There is no room for mistakes at court" (1.12), she warns her daughter. Make a mistake and heads will roll.