Study Guide

The Other Boleyn Girl Family

By Philippa Gregory

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Families are the ultimate sources of drama, whether it's your family, a Mafia family, or the Kardashians. In The Other Boleyn Girl, the Boleyns were basically the Mafia meets the Kardashians in 16th-century England: they gained popularity and fame through sex; their marriages were national sensations; and they may have killed people. And we're just talking about the Kardashians.

The Boleyns were a family who manufactured drama and used it to make themselves rich and powerful. And this was five hundred years before Instagram, folks. Family drama didn't start in the reality-TV age. It started with families.

Questions About Family

  1. How does the Boleyn family use its daughters to achieve its goals?
  2. Are there families today who behave the way the Boleyn family or the royal family behaved back then?
  3. How would you define a "traditional" family during this time period? In what ways does Mary create a family that defies tradition?

Chew on This

One thing hasn't changed since the 16th century: a royal family is just as dysfunctional, if not more dysfunctional, than any common family.

The families in this book don't value love; they value power. They only love each other when they succeed in accomplishing something that brings the family more power, wealth, and prestige.

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