Study Guide

The Other Boleyn Girl Ambition

By Philippa Gregory

Ambition

If Anne Boleyn were alive today, her favorite perfume would be "Ambition." Some days, she might mix it up with Chanel's "Allure," or Lady Gaga's "Fame," or even Calvin Kline's "Eternity" for a spritz of irony. But Anne's overwhelming scent is ambition.

Now that we think about it, she might not even need the perfume; you can smell ambition oozing from her pores.

As depicted in The Other Boleyn Girl, Anne Boleyn is single-minded and determined to get what she wants at any cost. It can be overwhelming, like someone who douses him- or herself in perfume or cologne. Whew. It stinks in here. Someone open a window…and jump out of it. Anything to get away.

Questions About Ambition

  1. Why is Anne so driven to get what she wants?
  2. Is Anne a product of her family's ambition? Or do her family members use her because they know how ambitious she is?
  3. What are the consequences of Anne's ambition?

Chew on This

Anne is sought after by her family and by the king for her ambition and drive, yet she ends up being punished for being ambitious and driven.

Mary is just as ambitious as Anne, but she has different goals. Anne wants power, while Mary wants love and a family. Neither woman will stop until she gets what she wants.