Study Guide

The Other Boleyn Girl Chapter 14

By Philippa Gregory

Chapter 14

Summer 1526

  • Mary names her bouncing baby boy Henry, after the king, his father.
  • Mary barely has any time with her son before her uncle orders her to flirt up the king.
  • It's quite an act Mary must perform. She is wracked with sorrow, missing her children, and she must pretend to be happy around the king.
  • Even though she is bleeding from a difficult delivery, Mary is ordered to suck it up and dance with the king.
  • Later, Henry brings Mary to his bed.
  • In the middle of the night, Henry wakes up. He wants to talk.
  • Henry whines about how Katherine was never able to have a boy. She did have male children, but they were either not carried to term or died very soon after birth.
  • Henry believes his marriage was cursed.
  • The next morning, Mary tells George that Henry used the c-word to describe his marriage.
  • The Boleyns believe that this means Henry may take steps to dissolve his marriage to Katherine.
  • Mary later requests that she may leave court to visit her children in Hever for one week.
  • Henry reluctantly gives in to her request. He looks at Anne like a child who has been forced by his parent to lend his favorite toy to another child for the afternoon. "I shall find something to do" (14.233).
  • At Hever, Mary is shocked to see how quickly her daughter, Catherine, has grown.
  • The two-year-old girl barely remembers her own mother, which breaks Mary's heart.
  • Mary perseveres, playing with the children and bonding with them over the course of one wonderful week.
  • When Mary returns to court, she learns that Henry couldn't live seven whole days without his mistress. He has begun courting Anne, buying her beautiful gowns to prove it.
  • Mary accuses Anne of never being able to allow Mary to have anything. "You've always wanted anything that was mine" (14.350).
  • While complaining about Anne's scheming to George, Mary wishes that Anne would "die of her ambition" (14.373).
  • Five-hundred year spoiler alert, folks: be careful what you wish for.

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