Study Guide

The Other Boleyn Girl Chapter 21

By Philippa Gregory

Chapter 21

Summer 1528

  • Anne whines about being tired after flirting with the king all day, while Mary gives her side-eye so hard she almost sprains a socket.
  • Mary has no sympathy for Anne, who made the king's bed and now is tired of lying in it.
  • Mary herself, though, is happy to lie in bed with her own, legal husband.
  • No one's happiness lasts long. That's been a pattern in this book.
  • A plague known as "the sweat" breaks out.
  • Mary flees court, along with George, to be at Hever with her children.
  • Anne soon arrives, but she is sick with the sweat. She is quarantined until she recovers.
  • Back at court, William, Mary's husband, gets sick and dies. R.I.P. William, we hardly knew thee.
  • As much as Mary liked rolling around in the sack with William, she is happy to be free of him. She hopes to "escape another husband" (21.71) and be able to live as a "nobody" (21.72) at Hever, with only her children.
  • George reminds Mary that, as the mother of the king's bastard, she will never just be a nobody.

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