Philippa Gregory: Movie about Boleyn Girls based on her novel

Historians in the News

Where the heck was Philippa Gregory when we were all at school learning dusty facts about Henry VIII and his wives?

The historian and novelist breathes new life into the world of the Tudors in The Other Boleyn Girl, a massive bestseller that has become a movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. The film, which is in theatres now, concerns the sibling rivalry between Anne and Mary Boleyn, both of whom want the King (Eric Bana) for herself. Sex, intrigue and competition inform life in Henry's court; toss in impressive period detail and fab costumes, and you've got a winner.

Dr. Gregory, 54, who did undergraduate work in history and a PhD in 18th Century literature at Edinburgh University, has had two bestseller runs with The Other Boleyn Girl -- first when it was published five years ago, and again right now.

Her other Tudor fictional biographies are The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover, The Constant Princess and The Boleyn Inheritance. She's written a half-dozen other bestselling books and also writes for magazines and newspapers in England.

Some of Gregory's novels have already become TV movies, but The Other Boleyn Girl is the first feature film based on one of her books.

Gregory says she saw the movie version with a public audience of 2,000 in Berlin recently. "They went mad for it," she says, cheerfully. "We went up on stage, and all the flashbulbs were going, and there was Natalie and Scarlett and the director and Eric Bana and me -- and it was thrilling." She saw the movie again at the Royal premiere in London last week, too. So what's it like to see "Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory" splashed on the big screen?

"That's the best scene in the movie," she says, smiling.

Read entire article at

comments powered by Disqus