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Philippa Gregory
Philippa Gregory

About Philippa Gregory

A master of period biographical fiction Philippa Gregory is one of the most popular novelists writing today. Her novels range across historical periods from the early 1400’s to the Twentieth Century but she is best known for her portrayals of the women around the Tudor court of Henry VIII, most famously Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl.

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The Cousin’s War

The Plantagenet line, riven by feuding families and divided loyalties; blood red and lily white. The cousin’s war series takes readers from civil war to Tudor ascendancy.

In Chronological Order


The Tudor Court

If you think you know the Tudor story, then think again. Power, intrigue and desire mingle through the years of the Tudor reign.

In Chronological Order


Earthly Joys

A country on the brink of upheaval, a time of discovery and invention and one man’s search for the secrets of The New World to change the old world landscape forever.


Wideacre

Philippa Gregory’s debut series is a passionate tale of a families inheritance torn apart by jealousy, incestuous passion and deeply hidden secrets.


The Order of Darkness

Philippa Gregory’s first series for young adults.

The year is 1453, and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Seventeen year-olds Luca and Isolde are thrust into a world of superstition, magic and the powerful secrets of the shadowy Order of Darkness.


Other novels

From medieval rites to contemporary fiction, Gregory’s stand-alone novels take her flair for blending history and invention and apply it to a range of bold and experimental fictional landscapes.


Philippa Gregory

 

Biography

 

Early Life and Career

Born in 1954 in Nairobi, Philippa Gregory moved to Bristol as a child before attending The University of Sussex as an undergraduate and then The University of Edinburgh where she received her doctorate in 18th Century literature. Whilst writing her thesis Gregory began her first novel, Wideacre, a story of incestuous passion and betrayal set against the backdrop of the enclosure acts of the late 18th century. Published in 1987, the book was a world-wide bestseller (fuelling two later sequels, The Favoured Child and Meridon) and was instrumental in Gregory’s decision to change career and become a full-time writer. Gregory commented “I wrote Wideacre in an old ruled notebook by hand, and put on the front, 'Philippa Gregory – Best Selling Novel'. Unbelievably it was”.

 

Neither History, Nor Biography, But Something of Each.

Gregory spent the next few years experimenting with fiction, writing various stand-alone novels including Alice Hartley’s Happiness, Fallen Skies and in 1995 returned to the 18th Century to write A Respectable Trade, a novel about the slave trade in England.

It was in 1998 that Gregory’s editor suggested she write a biography, this encouraged Gregory to instead write her first fictional biography, that of the gardener and botanist John Tradescant. The novel, Earthly Joys, proved a great success with The Telegraph calling it “hugely enjoyable and unexpectedly moving”.

The book also opened the door to Gregory’s best-known series, taking her fictional biography right to the heart of the English monarchy.

 

The Red Rose and the White

Gregory had touched upon the Tudor court before, in her novel The Wise Woman, published in 1992 but it wasn’t until she published best-selling novel The Other Boleyn Girl in 2002 that her interest in the period was cemented.

The novel established Gregory’s writing style, combining historical and biographical research with entirely fictional detail. The series now extends to eight novels.

Gregory’s immersion in the lives of the Tudors led her to write The Cousin’s War series about the lives of the Plantagenet’s and the end of the Wars of the Roses. Gregory first wrote The White Queen about the life of Elizabeth Woodville (the second book in the series chronologically) followed by another five novels about the dynasty.

A self-confessed lover of books and bookshops, Philippa Gregory is a regular at Waterstones events around the country. She also spends plenty of time browsing for new inspiration, she says “Since becoming successful … my book budget has gone out of control, so if I’m starting a new research topic… I’ll buy everything”.

 

Recommended Reading

Readers hungry for more fiction around the Tudor court should certainly turn to Alison Weir, the historian-turned-novelist has a keen eye for blending history and fiction; we’d recommending starting with her novel about Lady Jane Grey, Innocent Traitor. We’d also recommend the mystery series by C.J. Sansom, expertly plotted mysteries around the Tudor court, the first is Dissolution.

Of course, no mention of Tudor-period fiction would be complete without mentioning Hilary Mantel’s award-winning series on Cromwell, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, once begun, we guarantee you’ll be hungry for the next instalment. Away from the Tudor period, Jean Plaidy writes compellingly about the Plantagenet dynasty, beginning with The Plantagenet Prelude. For classic historical romance, Anya Seton is a master of the genre, her most well-known novel, Katherine, is set at the court of Edward III.

 

Selected Bibliography

 

The Cousin’s War Series

The Plantagenet line, riven by feuding families and divided loyalties; blood red and lily white. The cousin’s war series takes readers from civil war to Tudor ascendancy.

In Chronological Order

1430 – The Lady of the Rivers (2011)

1453 – The Red Queen (2010)

1464 – The White Queen (2009)

1465 – The Kingmaker’s Daughter (2012)

1485 – The White Princess (2013)

1499 – The King’s Curse (2014)

 

The Tudor Series

If you think you know the Tudor story, then think again. Power, intrigue and desire mingle through the years of the Tudor reign.

In Chronological Order

1491 – The Constant Princess (2005)

1501 – Three Sisters, Three Queens (2016)

1521 – The Other Boleyn Girl (2001)

1539The Boleyn Inheritance (2006)

1543 – The Taming of the Queen (2015)

1548 – The Queen’s Fool (2003)

 

Earthly Joys

A country on the brink of upheaval, a time of discovery and invention and one man’s search for the secrets of The New World to change the old world landscape forever.

1603 - Earthly Joys (1998)

1638 - Virgin Earth (1999)

 

Wideacre

Philippa Gregory’s debut series is a passionate tale of a families inheritance torn apart by jealousy, incestuous passion and deeply hidden secrets.

1772 - Wideacre (1987)

1790 - The Favoured Child (1989)

1805 - Meridon (1990)

 

Order of Darkness Series

Philippa Gregory’s first series for young adults

The year is 1453, and all signs point to it being the end of the world. Seventeen year-olds Luca and Isolde are thrust into a world of superstition, magic and the powerful secrets of the shadowy Order of Darkness.

Changeling (2012)

Stormbringers (2013)

Fools' Gold (2014)

 

Other novels

From medieval rites to contemporary fiction, Gregory’s stand-alone novels take her flair for blending history and invention and apply it to a range of bold and experimental fictional landscapes.

A Respectable Trade (1992)

The Wise Woman (1992)

Fallen Skies (1994)

The Little House (1998)

Zelda's Cut (2001)

Perfectly Correct (1992)

Alice Hartley’s Happiness (1992)