Philippa Gregory

A couple of years ago I’ve discovered Philippa Gregory. I enjoyed the first book I’ve read written by her, so I’ve continued reading. Now I can say I’ve finished two series by her: The Cousins’ War and The Tudor Court. I though it would be nice to share a snippet of all of them.
More details about Philippa Gregory on her website @

The Cousins' War by Philippa Gregory

The Cousins’ War Series by Philippa Gregory

comprises of 6 books. I’ve ordered them by timeline:

1. The Lady of the Rivers
This is the story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, mother to Elizabeth Woodville. I think Jacquetta was my favourite, Elizabeth, her daughter, coming up to a close second. The book is amazing, as it’s fiction, Philippa can write about magic. We know it’s not real, but, in the 15th century people had other beliefs.
In the book, the story begins in 1430, before Jaquetta married the Duke of Bedford. Her love-story with Richard Woodville is beautiful.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

2. The White Queen
The book begins with Elizabeth Woodville’s story, in 1464, where the first novel finished. I liked Elizabeth, she was so strong and determined, ready to fight for her sons. The story is so well written, it’s a real delight to read.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

3. The Red Queen
From the house of Lancaster, this is the story of Margaret Beaufort. I didn’t like her at all, but I loved the book. It’s quite a strange thing to say that.
I think she was using her religion as an excuse many times. I did love another character, her second husband. I would like to read more about him.
My rating: 4/5 Stars. Mainly because I didn’t like Margaret.

4. The Kingmaker’s Daughter
Lord Warwick was called the Kingmaker and this is the story of Anne Neville, one of his daughters. Fantastic book, as all of them are, but I wasn’t keen on Anne. She was married to Richard, the one that will become Richard III after usurping the throne of his nephews.
Her story is sad, she had to endure a lot.
My rating: 4.5/5 Stars.

5. The White Princess
Philippa goes back to the Woodville’s with this book, in which she writes the story of Elizabeth of York. She is not as likeable (for me anyway) as her mother and grandmother (Elizabeth Woodville and Jaquetta). Her life is a struggle, living in fear for her life under Richard III. Then she is married to Henry VII. He was very keen to give his mother (The Red Queen – Margaret) a lot of power, at the cost of his wife’s position.
My rating: 4.5/5 Stars.

6. The King’s Curse
The last book in this series is the story of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. Daughter of George, brother to Edward IV and Richard III, she was too close to the throne for Henry VII’s comfort. She struggled so much, even had to give up two of her boys (one that will become a very important figure – Reginald de la Pole) after her husband’s death. She was close to Arthur and Katherine, put aside after Arthur’s death. She was made a lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon and cared for Mary, only to have her fortunes turned again at the whims of Henry VIII. She was executed in 1541, by Henry VIII, at the old age of 68.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

If you love historical fiction, you would love these books. If you would like to read other books about this period, I would suggest the The Women of the Cousins’ War. The Duchess, The Queen and the King’s Mother by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin & Michael Jones. It’s non-fiction, but very interesting.

 The Tudor Court by Philippa Gregory

The Tudor Court Series by Philippa Gregory

. It is made up of 9 books, in order by timeline:

1. The Constant Princess
The story of Katherine of Aragon, one of my faovurite Queens, if not the favourite of all times. I think she could have been better portrayed. I’ve enjoyed the book though and I would recommend it. Her struggles, after Arthur’s death are very realistically presented in the book.
My rating: 4/5 Stars.

This month I’ve read Sister Queens by Julia Fox, a non-fiction book I would also recommend if you want to read more about Katherine.

2. Three Sisters, Three Queens
The book is about three Queens: Queen Margaret of Scotland, Queen Katherine of England and Queen Mary of France. Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France are sisters to Henry VIII. While in real life they weren’t so close as to call them “sisters”, the whole idea of the book, of how their adversities made them lead similar lives, is very well made. I’ve enjoyed this book a lot.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

3. The Other Boleyn Girl
Everybody knows about Anne Boleyn, but not many know about Mary Boleyn, the other Boleyn girl. Other as in the other mistress of Henry VIII too. Mary is wonderful, manipulated by her family, in search of love. She married in secret her second husband, William Stafford, and they had a wonderful relationship. It’s a beautiful love story.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

4. The Boleyn Inheritance
A book that contains three stories, of Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Jane Rochford. Anne of Cleves is interesting, married to Henry VIII for only 6 months. She managed to have a pretty good life in England, after her divorce.
Katherine is a silly child, but, considering what she said and her background, it’s very likely she was like that in real life too. A sad story of a child too young to know better.
Jane is mad, very different from the other two. Executed in the end, like Katherine Howard.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

5. The Taming of the Queen
The last of Henry VIII’s queens, the story of Kateryn Parr. At start I didn’t like Kateryn as much as the other characters, but, by the end of the book I did.
My rating: 4/5 Stars.

6. The Queen’s Fool.
Hannah is a fictional character as Queen Mary’s fool. All the other books in these two series are about real people, besides this one. It’s very interesting. Hannah is a Spanish Jew, that fled because of the persecution of the Jews by the Spanish inquisition. It’s fascinating to read about what Jews had to do to survive at that time. It’s also lovely to read about Mary.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

7. The Virgin’s Lover
The story of Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley and Amy Dudley, viewed through the eyes of Amy. The action of the book spans over 2 years and finishes after Amy’s death. Strangely, Elizabeth I knew about Amy’s sudden death a day or two before it happened. A must read.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

8. The Other Queen
The story of Mary Queen of Scots, sad, as one can imagine. She was kept in a prison by Elizabeth I for many years, until she was executed. It was fascinating to read, as I’ve seen the room where she gave birth to her son, on a trip to Edinburgh. Bess of Hardwick is another main character in the book and she is fascinating.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

9. The Last Tudor
This book appeared last year. The book is divided into 3 parts, each about a sister, all cousins to Mary and Elizabeth I.The three Grey sisters were daughters to Frances Grey, daughter to Charles Brandon and Mary, Henry VIII’s sister.
First part is about Jane Grey, the 9 day Queen, a pawn in a political game. She was executed by Mary, because she didn’t want to relinquish her Protestantism. The second part is about Katherine Grey, married in secret to Edward Seymore. Was imprisoned in the Tower by Elizabeth. Separated from her husband and their two sons, she died at only 27. Her husband was released after her death, but he wasn’t permitted to see his children. The last part is about Mary Grey, a little person. She married in secret the Queen’s sergeant porter, for love. As her sister, she and her husband were imprisoned and they will not see each other again. She died aged 33.
My rating: 5/5 Stars.

Do you like Philippa Gregory? Have you read her novels?

1 thought on “Philippa Gregory”

  • I’ve never read any of the Philippa Gregory books, though I know a lot of people that like them – I’ll have to get round to it some time! I did see the film version of The Other Boleyn Girl recently though.

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