Study Guide

The Other Boleyn Girl Chapter 37

By Philippa Gregory

Chapter 37

Spring 1533

  • Henry passes a law saying that English disputes can only be judged in English courts.
  • That means Katherine, in exile, cannot protest the annulment and remarriage of her husband.
  • "It was as if she had never been" (37.3), remarks Mary.
  • The ghosting of Queen Katherine is complete.
  • Anne wants a lavish ceremony that will put Katherine's coronation to shame.
  • Wait, we thought we were pretending Katherine never existed?
  • Anne Boleyn, like the most vengeful elephant, never forgets.
  • Anne is finally to be queen.
  • Remember when Mary was to be queen? Remember when she had the king's children? What does Mary have now?
  • Nothing.
  • The man Mary loves, William Stafford, is gone.
  • Mary takes a horse and leaves the castle.
  • Mary searches the countryside for William. Eventually she finds him, and declares her love to him.
  • William carries Mary into the bedroom "and into joy" (37.64), which doesn't involve as much upper body strength. Or maybe it does.
  • Mary wants to leave court and be a farmer's wife, but there's one small problem. No, not the fact that she doesn't know how to grow corn, but the fact that Anne is still in legal control of her son, Henry.
  • William wants Mary to be with her children.
  • William and Mary wed and return to court.
  • The first person Mary visits is her brother, George.
  • When she enters, Mary catches Sir Francis Weston "straightening his doublet" (37.111). You know what they say: if the doublet's askew, something's ado.
  • Mary tells George she'll protect his secret if he protects hers—which is that she's married.
  • Francis agrees to make William an usher to the king so that William may be near Mary at court.
  • William waits on the king by day and worships Mary in his room at night.
  • Meanwhile, Anne gets into an argument with her uncle.
  • Now that Anne is to be queen, she doesn't want her uncle around anymore.
  • Mary warns Anne about burning bridges, but Anne is pretty much walking napalm.
  • One night, William warns Mary about George's reputation as a sodomite.
  • Mary swears she will stand by her brother, no matter what the rumors are.
  • However, Mary agrees to try and get Henry, her son, away from George and his circle of friends. The bad reputation could be damaging to him.
  • After Anne's coronation, Mary warns George to stop seeing Francis Weston. He can't, he says. He's in love with the man.
  • George asks Mary if she could stop seeing her husband, and she says it's not the same thing.
  • "You're not without sin," George tells her. "You're just lucky" (37.319).
  • If this is the Boleyns being lucky, we'd hate to see what life is like for them on a bad day.

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