Category: Romance, historical fiction
Published: 1949, 378 pages
I received Brief Gaudy Hour as a review book from Sourcebooks a while ago and it took me a long time to read it. If it hadn't been a review book I may have abandoned it. I'm not sure exactly why I couldn't get into it at first. It's written well, and although I don't know a lot about the Tudor time period, I understand that Margaret Campbell Barnes was a meticulous researcher, so I could be pretty certain of the validity of this account of Anne Boleyn. I think my problem with the book initially was that I didn't really care for Anne Boleyn and I certainly didn't like Henry Tudor (King Henry VIII). Anne Boleyn was too ambitious and conniving and I didn't like her for much of the book. King Henry was a completely immoral, arrogant jerk in my opinion and it was okay for him to be that way because he was King. That drove me crazy. You are probably wondering, why 4 stars? Well, since it was a review book and I had to finish it, I did, and in the end I liked it a lot. I came to appreciate Anne Boleyn in the end and was moved to tears by her horrible fate. Even though I knew how the story would end, it was still quite suspenseful in parts. I would recommend this book if the Tudor time period interests you or if you want to learn more about it. I haven't read any of Phillippa Gregory's novels but if you have read those and like them I would say that you should definitely read Brief Gaudy Hour .