Study Guide

The Other Boleyn Girl Religion

By Philippa Gregory

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In the Tudor court, there wasn't one ring to rule them all, but there was one religion to rule them all: Catholicism. If you lived in Western Europe during this time, you couldn't escape it. Now, while The Other Boleyn Girl isn't a book about the Protestant Reformation, aspects of that Reformation do occur in the background. Henry's decision to go his own way and establish the Church of England is a critical factor in Anne's ultimate fate. And faith, or lack of it, is a big factor in many of these characters' lives.

Questions About Religion

  1. How does Mary view religion?
  2. How does Henry use religion to rationalize his own actions?
  3. What are the larger effects of Henry's schism with the pope?
  4. Does marriage really seem like a religious institution in this novel, or is it more of a political and social contract?

Chew on This

Katherine of Aragon relies on her faith to get herself through tough times. Henry does the worst thing possible to get to her: he renders her faith null and void in England.

Henry is a man of many hypocrisies, but his faith is one of the larger ones. He wants to be seen as a devout man, but he constantly re-writes the rules of his religion to make himself always appear to be in the right.

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