review: Brief Gaudy Hour

The enigmatic Anne Boleyn comes to life in this charming, brilliant portrayal by acclaimed British novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes.

The infamous love of King Henry VIII and the mother of Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn undertook a rocky journey from innocent courtier to powerful Queen of England. A meticulous researcher, Margaret Campbell Barnes immerses readers in this intrigue and in the lush, glittery world of the Tudor Court. The beauty and charms of Anne Boleyn bewitched the most powerful man in the world, King Henry VIII, but her resourcefulness and cleverness were not enough to stop the malice of her enemies. Her swift rise to power quickly became her own undoing.

The author brings to light Boleyn’s humanity and courage, giving an intimate look at a young woman struggling to find her own way in a world dominated by men and adversaries.

briefgaudyhourBrief Gaudy Hour

by Margaret Campbell Barnes

The factual inaccuracies in this book kept me distracted from the actual fictional side of the novel. Dates, events, ages and time lines — to me — are very important in historical fiction, though characters and personalities are malleable in the author’s hands. I know Anne Boleyn’s life very well, through reading many, many fiction and non-fiction books about her. I know all of the minor persons surrounding the time period, and I just couldn’t get past all of the errors. However, to be fair, the writing and characterization were very good. I researched other reviewer’s opinions and many found the same inaccuracies, though one pointed out that when this book was written there was not a wealth of information to rely upon. I would not recommend this book to a first time reader of the story of Anne Boleyn, but those already fluent in the subject would find it witty and entertaining.