Monday, June 10, 2013

Author Bio - Philippa Gregory

This week, we're reading The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory.

Gregory has written extensively on Tudor England.  If fact, The Queen's Fool is not even the first book she came out with (but... it's better than the first one, and shorter, so that's the one we're reading.)

She was born in Kenya, but her family moved to England when she was just two years old.  After attending the University of Sussex, she got her doctorate in 18th Century Literature at the University of Edinburg.

It was while in school in Edinburg that Gregory wrote her first novel, Wideacre.  It ended up being widely popular, and she wrote two other books to complete the series.  After two divorces (and two kids) she is currently settle with her third husband and six kids (and step-kids) on a 100 acres in North York Moors.

The Other Boleyn Girl is the first book in her Tudor series.  It follows Mary Boleyn (Anne's older sister and a consort of Henry's before Anne) and then we learn of Anne's relationship with Henry, but through Mary's eyes.  The book has been adapted not only into a BBC short series, but also a film in 2008 (It has Scarlett Johansen, Eric Bana, Natalie Portman and Jim Sturgess.  Four VERY fine reasons to go see it. :D)

The other books of the series are (In order of release, NOT chronological):

The Queen's Fool (Mary Tudor's Reign)
The Virgin's Lover (Elizabeth's Reign)
The Constant Princess (Catherine of Aragon)
The Boleyn Inheritance (Anne of Cleves and Catherine Parr)
The Other Queen (Elizabeth's reign, but about Mary, Queen of Scots' exploits)

She has also written a series about the other members of the Tudor family, from Edward IV's consort, to Henry VIII's mother.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding Gregory's work, mainly because it is largely fictional.  But, you know, they ARE in the fiction section, and I don't believe she's ever claimed they're accurate.  She takes a lot of rumors of the time, that COULD be true, but probably aren't, and worked them into her books.  But, as we all know, a lot of people think that historical fiction is actually historical fact. (Be sure to come back on Thursday for more discussion of historical fiction!)

Despite the problems people have with them, they're great books and definitely worth picking up (especially if you enjoy reading about this time period, like I do.)


  1. I actually own Wildacre but have yet to read it. I haven't read The Boleyn Inheritance or The Other Queen either. And she is currently working on one called The White Queen, fyi.

    1. The White Queen is actually out (has been for a few years), but the TV show premieres on Sunday.

    2. Also, I've read The Boleyn Inheritance AND The Other Queen. Neither are that great. She starts doing this thing where she does POV shifts, each chapter belonging to a different character, and it's just not as GOOD as when we see it from the POV of one. Her earlier stuff is definitely better.