24 October 2008
I just finished reading Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl. Little did I know it’d turn out to be so much more than just a historical account of the lives of a motley group of courtiers in one of the most turbulent times in English history. What a very engaging & thought-provoking novel! It follows the lives and fortunes of the 2 Boleyn girls, one of whom was the mother of England’s finest monarchs, Queen Elizabeth I.
I devoured the book within a few hours of laying hands on it. Honestly, I couldn’t care two hoots whether it followed facts or not. It got me thinking about a lot of stuff, some that I’d consciously relegated to the back of my mind. I became absorbed more by what the book threw subtly at you, more than the story itself. Hypocrisy. Rivalry. Deceit. The Boleyn family will stop at nothing to acquire wealth, achieve status and find favour with the King, even if it means converting their daughters into the King’s whores. 16th century human world wasn’t very different from our so-called modern world, what! Human beings haven’t changed very much since the time of the Aryans now...or have they? On our moral landscape, insincerity has inevitable acceptance. As has treachery, sham and deception. We are pretty cool about it, in fact. We teach our children to be ‘realistic,’ don’t we? We say things we don’t mean, do things we don’t believe in. What are the remains of the day, after all that we do to live? Or, is it a semblance of life?
Food for thought, even if it ends along with this full stop.