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Phillippa Gregory - what to read first?

(23 Posts)
Peopleplease Mon 29-Jan-18 15:17:15

I’ve just discovered my library has most of these books available online. I’ve seen her mentioned here a bit so just wondering what to start with?

I’m Irish and don’t have much knowledge of English history!

CramptonHodnet Mon 29-Jan-18 15:58:17

If you're reading the Cousins' War series (Wars of the Roses ones) then apparently it's best to start with The Lady of The Rivers, which is Jacquetta Woodville's story. I've got them on my kindle, but haven't started the series yet.

Peopleplease Mon 29-Jan-18 16:02:10

I’m not reading any series yet - was wondering where’s best to start.

highlandcoo Mon 29-Jan-18 16:02:37

The Boleyn trilogy is good. Start with The Constant Princess, which tells the story of Catherine of Aragon's youth. Then The Other Boleyn Girl and finally The Boleyn Inheritance.

I enjoyed the above but think Philippa Gregory's writing has really deteriorated in recent years; she's churning books out far too quickly. Her old stuff was much more readable.

Myunicornfliessideways Mon 29-Jan-18 16:04:55

I love her but can get ground down with the horror of it all in the Tudor based ones - she is very good at making you feel it - so I dot around a lot.

The Cousins War series work almost like bits of a jigsaw puzzle that fit together, you end up wanting to know more about this woman and that woman who is a small part in one of the books but another book focuses on. The White Queen and The Red Queen are very good, and each one illuminates the other. The White Princess and The Constant Princess are also very strong ones, and the books stand on their own so don't need to be read in a strict series. Some of her fiction is good too, I just finished Meridon and really enjoyed it.

gussyfinknottle Mon 29-Jan-18 16:10:01

Please try Sharon Penman instead/too. A bit less "heaving bosums" and a bit more properly researched history. Cracking yarns too.

metalmum15 Mon 29-Jan-18 16:21:26

I loved the Boleyn series too. I do agree though, her books aren't as unputdownable as they used to be, I find she seems to repeat herself constantly throughout the book, as though she's just trying to fill pages. Try Alison Weir too, she's written some decent fiction books.

gussyfinknottle Mon 29-Jan-18 16:29:29

Alison Weir is good too but her books can be a heavy read.

AmethystRaven Mon 29-Jan-18 16:31:44

I think you can just dive in anywhere and it doesn't matter too much, they don't tend to be strict series as such. I liked The Queen's Fool.

Riverside2 Mon 29-Jan-18 16:37:17

I thought The Other Boleyn Girl and the Boleyn Inheritance were brilliant - I have read them both a few times.

I also though A Respectable Trade was terrific (stand alone) and Fallen Skies (also stand alone).

I read the Queen's Fool and found it a bit intense - just in the sense that the level of detail of religion wasn't for me but it was good. I definitely want to read more of her books.

SugarMiceInTheRain Mon 29-Jan-18 16:43:05

I've enjoyed several of them - started off with The Kingmaker's Daughter, though should have started with previous books in that series. Have read The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover, The Taming of the Queen and one of the other books in the Cousins' War series. Enjoyed them all, and most of the books I read work as stand-alone ones though I imagine it helps to read them in chronological order.

Blueemeraldagain Mon 29-Jan-18 16:51:19

PG’s novel are my chick-lit guilty pleasure! I love them and hate that I love them! The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance are great and the Cousins War series is so absorbing.
The Last Tudor (about the Grey sisters) is heart breaking, but even I as a big fan couldn’t help rolling my eyes at some points. Made me want to find out more about the youngest sister Mary too.

Alison Weir’s books are also great, I loved the one about Mary Boleyn. I can’t wait for her novel about Jane Seymour to come out!

Riverside2 Mon 29-Jan-18 17:00:16

I only read one Alison Weir - Innocent Traitor - and I was so disappointed, thought the writing was really poor. I'm fascinated by Lady Jane's story but I felt I was wading through descriptions of clothes most of the time.

Toomuchsplother Mon 29-Jan-18 19:09:26

Riverside I think Innocent Traitor is possibly the worst of Alison Weirs so it was bad luck for you to start there. Her Queens series is pretty good, concentrating on wives of Henry VIII. Only published the Kathryn of Aragon and Anne Boleyn stories so far

timeistight Mon 29-Jan-18 19:10:19

Another vote for Sharon Penman.

Itmakesthereaderreadon Mon 29-Jan-18 19:13:53

I learn loads from Sharon Penman. Lost lots of friends after the Richard the Lionheart ones by constantly trying to tell people about warfare techniques during the crusades!

BetterEatCheese Mon 29-Jan-18 19:15:01

I love love love The Other Boleyn Girl

Tigertots Tue 30-Jan-18 11:34:44

Wideacre is brilliant; not a heart-warming book, though. I first read it when I was 16, but if anything I enjoyed it even more, the second time I read it; I appreciated the Nature similes more.

I'm afraid I haven't read any of her "Tudor" books, because I got a bit tired of the Tudors at school. (The History teachers must get really sick of them after a while!)

CakeBeTheFoodOfLove Tue 30-Jan-18 18:46:15

I enjoyed Wideacre too - got the second one to read when I get around to it. Very different to her Tudor novels.

Almostfifty Wed 31-Jan-18 21:43:48

I agree with Wideacre, her earlier books are much better.

I agree with PPs about Sharon Penman too.

PhyllisWig Thu 01-Feb-18 19:36:27

I hated wildacre - found it all a bit nasty.

I liked a respectable trade and the ones about the gardener. The other Boleyn girl was great too.

I went off her a bit after that. I do second Sharon penman - the Sunne in Splendour is great as are the welsh princes series.

surreymum734 Tue 13-Feb-18 14:25:53

Another recommendation to read Alison Weir.

lucydogz Wed 14-Feb-18 08:02:34

If you're after history, don't read pg. As others have said, read Alison Weir or, even better Norah Lofts.
And, as another poster said, Wiseacre is just plain nasty .

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