Born on January 9, 1954, in Nairobi, Philippa Gregory is an English historical novelist who has been publishing since 1987. She attended the University of Edinburgh where she earned her doctorate in 18th-century literature.
Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her Ph.D. and became an instant worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer. She has written novels set in several different historical periods, primarily the Tudor period and the 16th century.
How to read Philippa Gregory’s Books in Order?
Reading The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels in Chronological Order
A series about the two British royal houses, the history being told through the female prism. For more details, go to our article about The Plantagenet and Tudor books.
- The Lady of the Rivers
- The White Queen
- The Red Queen
- The Kingmaker’s Daughter
- The White Princess
- The Constant Princess
- The King’s Curse
- Three Sisters, Three Queens
- The Other Boleyn Girl
- The Boleyn Inheritance
- The Taming of the Queen
- The Queen’s Fool
- The Virgin’s Lover
- The Last Tudor
- The Other Queen
The Wideacre Series
- Wideacre – Wideacre Hall, set in the heart of the English countryside, is the ancestral home that Beatrice Lacey loves. But as a woman in England in the 1770s she has no right of inheritance; only a loveless arranged marriage lies ahead. Beautiful, sensual, and passionate, Beatrice sets out to pursue her own goal: control over Wideacre – at any cost.
- The Favoured Child – The Wideacre estate is bankrupt. The villagers are living in poverty and the formerly stunning hall is a smoke-blackened ruin. But, in the Dower House nearby, two children are being raised in protected innocence. Equal claimants to the estate, rivals for the love of the village, they are tied by a secret childhood betrothal but forbidden to marry. But only one can be Beatrice Lacey’s true heir.
- Meridon – Meridon knows she does not belong in the dirty, vagabond life of a gypsy bareback rider. The half-remembered vision of another life burns in her heart, even as her beloved sister, Dandy, risks everything for their future. Alone, Meridon follows the urgings of her dream, riding in the moonlight past the rusted gates, up the winding drive to a house-clutching the golden clasp of the necklace that was her birthright–home at last to Wideacre.
The Tradescant Series
- Earthly Joys – John Tradescant’s fame and skill as a gardener are unsurpassed in seventeenth-century England, but it is his clear-sighted honesty and loyalty that make him an invaluable servant. As an informal confidant of Sir Robert Cecil, adviser to King James I, he witnessed the making of history, from the Gunpowder Plot to the accession of King Charles I and the growing animosity between Parliament and court.
- The Virgin Earth – As England descends into civil war, John Tradescant the Younger, gardener to King Charles I, finds his loyalties in question, his status an ever-growing danger to his family. Fearing royal defeat and determined to avoid serving the rebels, John escapes to the royalist colony of Virginia, a land bursting with fertility that stirs his passion for botany. Only the native American people understand the forest, and John is drawn to their way of life just as they come into fatal conflict with the colonial settlers.
The Darkness Series
- Changeling – 1453. Accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is recruited by a mysterious stranger to record the end of times across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Isolde, a Lady Abbess, is trapped in a nunnery to prevent her from claiming her rich inheritance. As the nuns in her care are driven mad by strange visions, walking in their sleep, and showing bleeding wounds, Luca is sent to investigate and all the evidence points to Isolde’s criminal guilt. Forced to face the greatest fears of the medieval world, Luca and Isolde embark on a search for truth, their own destinies, and even love.
- Stormbringers – In 1453, Luca Vero, a member of the secret Order of Darkness tasked with searching out signs of the end of the world, finds himself and his companions, including Isolde, in a small harbor town where a children’s crusade would seem to have found a miracle.
- Fools’ Gold – Tasked to expose a coin counterfeiting scheme, Luca and Isolde travel to Venice just in time for Carnival. Their romance is interrupted by the arrival of the alchemist, who may be the con artist they’ve been looking for. But as Luca starts to investigate the original charge, the alchemist reveals his true goal–he plans to create the Philosopher’s Stone, a mystical substance said to be capable of turning base metals into gold and producing the elixir of life.
- Dark Tracks – Luca Vero is a member of the secret Order of Darkness, tasked by his master to uncover the truth behind strange happenings. Alongside Lady Isolde, her friend and confidant, Ishraq, Luca’s manservant, Freize, and Brother Peter, Luca travels miles across medieval Europe–seeking out the signs of the end of days, judging the supernatural, and testing the new science. Trapped in a village possessed by a dancing madness, the group fights to keep their sanity. When Isolde dances away in red shoes and Ishraq takes dramatic revenge on their covert assassin, the young people discover the greatest risk in the men who have come to their rescue. These are the truly dangerous madmen of Europe, who carry a dark hatred that will last for centuries.
Fairmile Series in Order
- Tidelands – On Midsummer’s Eve, Alinor waits in the church graveyard, hoping to encounter the ghost of her missing husband and thus confirm his death. Until she can, she is neither maiden nor wife nor widow, living in a perilous limbo. Instead, she meets James, a young man on the run. She shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marshy landscape of the Tidelands, not knowing she is leading a spy and an enemy into her life.
- Dark Tides – Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favor of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy–his son and heir. The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.
- Dawnlands – It is 1685, England is on the brink of a renewed civil war against the Stuart kings and many families are bitterly divided. Ned Ferryman cannot persuade his sister, Alinor, that he is right to return from America with his Pokanoket servant, Rowan, to join the rebel army. Instead, Alinor has been coaxed by the manipulative Livia to save the queen from the coming siege. The rewards are life-changing: the family could return to their beloved Tidelands, and Alinor could rule where she was once lower than a servant.
Philippa Gregory’s Stand-alone Novels
- A Respectable Trade – Bristol in 1787 is booming, from its stinking docks to its elegant new houses. Josiah Cole, a small dockside trader, is prepared to gamble everything to join the big players of the city. But he needs ready cash and a well-connected wife. An arranged marriage to Frances Scott is a mutually convenient solution. Trading her social contacts for Josiah’s protection, Frances enters the world of the Bristol merchants and finds her life and fortune dependent on the respectable trade of sugar, rum, and slaves.
- Mrs. Hartley and the Growth Centre aka Alice Hartley’s Happiness – Alice Hartley can no longer arouse the interest of her pompous husband, the adulterous professor. Despite her efforts, she still leaves him cold. Just as she is compelled to face this chilling truth, she meets Michael, a young student with an excessive libido. In Michael, Alice discovers an endless supply of all she has sought: revenge, sex, and a large house suitable for conversion.
- The Wise Woman – Growing up as an abandoned outcast on the moors, young Alys’ only company is her cruel foster mother, Morach, the local wise woman who is told to practice the dark arts. Alys joins a nunnery to escape the poverty and loneliness she has felt all her life, but all too soon her sanctuary is destroyed. She finds work in a castle not far from where she grew up as an old lord’s scribe, where she falls obsessively in love with his son Hugo. But Hugo is already married to a proud woman named Catherine. Driven to desperation by her desire, she summons the most dangerous powers Morach taught her, but quickly the passionate triangle of Alys, Hugo, and Catherine begins to explode, launching them into uncharted sexual waters.
- Fallen Skies – Lily Valance wants to forget the war. She’s determined to enjoy the world of the 1920s, with its music, singing, laughter, and pleasure. When she meets Captain Stephen Winters, a decorated hero back from the Front, she’s drawn to his wealth and status. In Lily, he sees his salvation. But it’s a dream that cannot last. Lily has no intention of leaving her singing career. The hidden tensions of the respectable facade of the Winters household come to a head. Stephen’s nightmares merge ever closer with reality and the truth of what took place in the mud and darkness brings him and all who love him to a terrible reckoning…
- Perfectly Correct – Dr Louise Case has the right career, the right country cottage, and a commitment-free relationship with a fellow academic. According to contemporary codes, it’s all very correct – except that Louise begins to suspect that it’s far from perfect. Then along comes Rose, eighty if she’s a day, who effortlessly disrupts everything. Soon both campus and cottage are in chaos, while the old lady commences to set her own house – a decrepit old van – in order. And this includes an unthinkably traditional role for Louise…
- The Little House – It was easy for Elizabeth. She married the man she loved, bore him two children, and made a home for him that was the envy of their friends. It was harder for Ruth. She married Elizabeth’s son and then found that, somehow, she could never quite measure up! Isolation, deceit, and betrayal fill the gaps between the two individual women and between their different worlds.
- Zelda’s Cut – For years, Isobel Latimer has composed serious novels for serious people, but to dwindling acclaim and ever-more dwindling financial gain. Now her husband is ill and she must carry the burden of their house and his hopes alone, and in secret. But if the public doesn’t want careful moral fables any longer, why not provide them with an outrageous tale of sex and satanism, and an author to match? Isobel, together with her agent, Troy, resolves to change her writing and her appearance, for one book only: the blockbuster that will make her fortune and save her marriage.
- Normal Women – Did you know that there are more penises than women in the Bayeux Tapestry? That the Peasant’s Revolt was started and propelled by women, protesting a tax on women? Or that celebrated naturalist Charles Darwin believed not just that women were naturally inferior to men but that they’d evolve to become ever more inferior. These are just a few of the startling findings you will learn from reading Philippa Gregory’s Normal Women. In this ambitious and ground-breaking book, she tells the story of our nation over 900 years, but for the very first time, women–some fifty percent of the population–are no longer invisible in this history of England but are at their beating heart.
Short story by Philippa Gregory
- Bread and Chocolate – A collection of short stories. A TV chef who specializes in outrageous cakes tempts a monk who bakes bread for his brothers; a surprise visitor invites mayhem into the perfect minimalist flat in the season of goodwill; a woman explains her unique view of straying husbands; straying husbands encounter a variety of effective responses. Just some of the delicacies on offer in this sumptuous box of delights!
Children’s Works by Philippa Gregory
Princess Florizella series
- The Princess Rules – These three stories were originally published under the titles Princess Florizella, Princess Florizella and the Wolves and Princess Florizella and the Giant. Princess Florizella may live in a classic fairy-tale world, but she’s no ordinary princess… She rides her horse, Jellybean, all over the kingdom, having adventures of her own…
- It’s a Prince Thing – When Florizella finds a baby boy delivered by stork to her parents’ palace, she is shocked to discover that he will one day be king and inherit her kingdom! For every prince is given a permit that allows them to do whatever they like in the same way that every princess is given a set of rules that they have to live by. Can Florizella prove that girls having rules and boys having permits isn’t right? And that princes and princesses, and girls and boys, should be anything that they want to be…
- The Mammoth Adventure – The feisty princess takes her baby brother and best friend, Bennett, on another round of adventures together. Can they rescue their new-found friend the sea serpent from a traveling circus? And hold back the pirate, Five-fathom Freida. Or will Florizella’s worst fairy-godmother prove that in a fairytale world, you do have to be careful what you wish for?…
Stand-alone Children’s novels
- A Pirate Story – This is the story of the messiest and dirtiest pirates sailing on the Seven Seas. They just have to get their ship ship-shape and fast. Of course, there is a lot of mayhem, mishap and mess. Will the Midnight Belle sail on to eventually become the cleanest ship on the ocean?
- Diggory and the Boa Conductor – This is a collection of three stories about Diggory. He is quite ordinary, so why do things keep happening to him? Like the incredible Boa Conductor, the fantastic desk that isn’t a desk, and the very special, very unusual furry babysitter. Anyone would think there was some magic going on.
- The Little Pet Dragon – It isn’t easy when your family don’t have much money. But you can dream. James dreams of owning a greyhound puppy that will grow into the fastest dog in the world. Then one day he finds his heart’s desire – but is it a dog?
Non-fiction Book by Philippa Gregory
- The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King’s Mother – with David Baldwin and Michael Jones. Philippa Gregory joins two eminent historians to explore the extraordinary true stories of three women largely forgotten by history: Jacquetta, Duchess of Bedford; Elizabeth Woodville, queen of England; and Margaret Beaufort, the founder of the Tudor dynasty.