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The Red Queen (The Cousins' War #2)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  43,675 Ratings  ·  3,671 Reviews
The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses.

The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in he
Hardcover, 382 pages
Published 2010 by Touchstone
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Sammie Actually I would advise you to read The Lady of The Rivers first which is by the same author, in it you will learn about Elizabeth Woodville's mother…moreActually I would advise you to read The Lady of The Rivers first which is by the same author, in it you will learn about Elizabeth Woodville's mother and family since they will play a BIG part in the White Queen, Red Queen and so on. it makes the introduced characters better known and makes the reading a lot easier and fun. Enjoy!(less)
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Aug 04, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, despite its title, The Red Queen is not about Margaret of Anjou, but about Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII. (For some reason, no one in the novel ever addresses Margaret as the Countess of Richmond, though records from the time refer to her as such, and she herself seems to be unaware that she holds that title through her first marriage to Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond. I found this odd, because Margaret as depicted here is not a woman to forget the fact that ...more
Bookworm Sean
Margaret Beaufort is deeply pious, and she has spent many years paying for the return of the house of Lancaster. She is a devout Catholic; thus, she is convinced that God is on her side; therefore, it is God’s will that her son, Henry Tudor, will be the next king of England. This is her life’s work. She has no other reason to live other than honouring her God and ensuring her son’s ascension. So, she isn’t the most likable of protagonists.

An unshakable faith in victory

She is characterised ver
Jul 12, 2013 Matthew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing this, the only real things I feel I have to say are that I HATE Margaret Beaufort and had many a moment while reading where I was hoping beyond hope that Elizabeth Woodville or some other such person would show up and strangle her to death with the rosary she's always fondling.

Honestly, I cannot imagine how anyone could come to like Margaret while reading this novel. She is every negative stereotype about religious people all wrapped up in one and served with massive sides of se
Jason Koivu
Now is the Spring of this woman's discontent...
Cause, I mean, talk about bitter!

In Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen the prominent historical figure from the War of the Roses period and eventual mother of King Henry VII, Margaret Beaufort is portrayed as one who felt God had destined her for a higher calling, of which she was robbed, and for which she was forever after embittered.

The story follows Margaret from when she was a little girl daydreaming about becoming the next Joan of Arc, an Englis
Feb 08, 2014 Robin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea if Margaret Beaufort was as she is depicted by Gregory, but her fictional alter ego is the most unlikeable person that I have come across in a novel in years. The first-person narrative gave little escape from this fanatical and self-absorbed woman. Henry Tudor's ascension to the throne as Henry VII is a a fascinating and unlikely story, but neither mother, the true believer in his destiny despite its apparent impossibility, nor Henry VII (whom I am more familiar with historically ...more
Mar 20, 2011 Iset rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want a light, breezy read rather than something meatier

I was surprised, but I actually ended up liking this novel a shade better than "The White Queen". There's much less of the Melusina magic, which I really felt was used too much as a deus ex machina in "The White Queen". The relationship with Jasper Tudor, although completely fictional, was intriguing and even more so because I knew it could never truly be realised. The one-liners here and there. I actually liked Margaret's steadfastness and singlemindedness, and whilst her ruthlessness is shocki
Sep 15, 2012 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read the reviews and everyone hated this book, I had to read it. As it turns out, everyone hates the heroine, but I didn't. I felt sorry for her, and I had to laugh at her self-absorption and self-vindication, but this is a girl raised to believe that blood lines matter, and that her only possible contribution is as a brood mare. She is married twice with no say in the matter; her last marriage she negotiates for herself.

I appreciate this book. I appreciate the hard work and research Greg
Historical fiction is a passion of mine and I personally think that Philippa Gregory is one of the masters of the genre. I always find her books to be so well researched that as a reader you feel like you are experiencing that particular time first hand.

This is the second book in the new cousins war series and I did find this novel hard going at first but after the first 50 pages I found myself completely absorbed in this novel and felt like I was there watching events unfold in front of my eyes
Beth Dean
I got it cheap with the Daily Mail in duty free and I see why.IT'S THE SAME BOOK BUT MADE A HELL OF A LOT MORE BORING! I was shocked at Gregory's choice of using the same time frame as The White Queen, although she included the story of Magaret from when she was 7 the main story line was the same, revolving around the same events. Since you knew what was going to happen next and who was true and who wasn't Gregory destroyed her best assesst, intrigue. You could skip chapters (I wouldn't but the ...more
I am listening to this book via audio, and I can honestly say I'm not enjoying this as much as I usually enjoy Philippa Gregory's books. This book is very political and while it involves the Court, it's not such a big part of the book. I don't think it's the writing that is bothering me though, I think it's Margaret, who is extremely arrogant and I would almost say selfish - except she does show some compassion now and then. She is single minded, focused on her mission. I feel like the book is m ...more
2.5 stars

Margaret Beaufort wants to devote her life to church but is instead maried off to Edmund Tudor when she is 12. He dies soon after that but manages to get her pregnant before that. After her son Henry is born, Margaret devotes her life to get him on the throne.

I don’t think I’ve ever hated any character so much as I hated Margaret! By page 60 I just wanted to stab her. She think she is England’s Joan of Arc ans is here to deliver England from the Yorkist. I got it, she’s pious person and
Carla Faleiro
May 04, 2016 Carla Faleiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: os-despachados, papel
Uau!! Esta autora deixa-me sem folego!
Apesar desta personagem ser mais "mesquinha" que as anteriores, não deixa de ser também ela uma feroz lutadora.
Esta Margarida cheia de uma fé cega, que nunca se conformou com o afastamento do filho do trono de inglaterra foi o pilar da Dinastia Tudor.
Um livro fantástico.
A bit better than TWQ, and will appeal to PG fans, but perhaps not the serious Ricardians.
I found some of this book interesting, but for the most part, it dragged. It was way too repetitive, even by Gregory's previous theme-repeating standards. 'Joan of Arc, blah blah...Lancaster heir, blah blah...the will of God, blah blah.' Yes, I get it, Margaret Beaufort was one hell of a determined woman, driven by a deep religious belief and a sole aim to get her son on the throne - there’s no need to bash me over the head with it on every page. I ended up skim-reading the second half of this b ...more
Jun 02, 2011 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW. This one I really could not put down--primarily because Margaret Beaufort is one of the most appalling characters I have ever met. When we read THE WHITE QUEEN, she was just in the background--but here she is front and center, and she is a horrible combination of religious zealot and jealousy. Next to her, Elizabeth Woodville seems like a true queen.

In her defense, Margaret is given in marriage to Edmund Tudor at the young age of 12; he simply wants a son and treats her brutally. Edmund's b
Aretha melina
this is one of the best book by Philippa Gregory. And I am so appalled by others who gave this book only one star. This book deserves more than one star.
This book is about a magnificent woman who survives abusive parents, relationships, separation with her son and triumph against all odds.
Brought up by a mother who dislikes her and constantly thinks of her more as a nuisance and a misfortune to her than a daughter who deserves to be loved and cared for; young Margaret beauford grown to be a dev
Aug 16, 2010 Angelc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-own-read
Margaret Beaufort isn't really a likable heroine. She was so stiff and unemotional, it was hard for me to relate to her. This criticism isn't against the author, it's just what you have to deal with in historical fiction based on real life.

When Margaret was a child, her prickliness was actually cute. And how can you not laugh when she rejoices at her knees being callused from kneeling in prayer, calling them 'Saint's Knees.'

I sympathized with her being forced into marriage with Edmund, who never
Jun 28, 2011 Virag rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a while ago, and I loved it at the time, but if I read it again I'd probably not like it as much. I don't remember much of the story, besides the fact that Margaret was quite bitchy, but I kind of enjoyed that because my middle-school self couldn't quite grasp that cruelty does not equal amusing. So if you're reading my review and thinking "Wtf is wrong with her, this book is freaking horrible!", then keep in mind that my 4/5 rating is probably quite off if I were to read this again.

Nov 14, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This showed up in the local library, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

I wonder if it was Ms Gregory's deliberate intention to portray a 'heroine' so unlikeable that I could not find a single redeeming feature in her? Maybe. I mean, I am not exactly Margaret Beaufort's leading fan, not by a very long way, but if someone paid me a substantial sum to write a novel about her, I am pretty sure I could find some positive aspects to her character. In fact, I know I could. This novel almost made me feel
I’m a huge fan of Philippa Gregory’s novels, and I was absolutely captivated by the first installment of The Cousin’s War. So much so, that I’ve started to watch the TV series! However, I didn’t find this book as interesting as the first installment. I struggled with the narrator, and I didn't find her likable in the least!

The Red Queen casts Margaret Beaufort as the main character where she narrates her struggle to bring her only son Henry Tudor to the throne. As years go by, she’s convinced t
3 stars - It was good.

Much slower than Gregory's other books that I have read, in part because you are revisiting many of the same events from the last book, The White Queen. Read much like a memoir of a pompous, cold woman with ambition being her nucleus and what she loved above all else. Having just read The White Queen and feeling attached to Elizabeth Woodville (both mother and daughter), you feel like someone is picking a fight with one of your friends every time Margaret calls either a who
Stephanie Dray
One of Philippa Gregory's uncelebrated gifts is her ability to slide into the mind of a sociopath and give us a compelling glimpse into villainy. She did it in Wideacre and now she does it again in the Red Queen where we initially sympathize with poor Margaret Beaufort, an unloved and abused child. But when the abuse breaks Margaret, we begin to despise her.

She never truly grows up, never moves past the hurts and tragedies of her childhood. Never gains a sense of compassion for others. She is va
Faith Spinks
Jun 17, 2012 Faith Spinks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I always enjoy the journey of discovery into the history of my own country which I get from Gregory's historical novels and once again I was not disappointed.

The Red Queen tells one side of the historical story of The Cousin's War - the battle between the houses of York, lancaster and Tudor to hold the Royal throne of England, to be the rightful King of England. Margaret Beaufort is the mother of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) and never stops believing that her son is the rightful God ordained King. As
Aug 05, 2010 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Margaret Beaufort is fervently religious and prays every day, often multiple times. She’s been raised to be a devout girl and to trust in God, especially since she believes when her mother tells her it’s God’s wish she rise to royalty—that she deserves to fulfill a role ordained to her by birth. She has two desires in life: to sign her name Margaret R. (for Regina, or Queen) and to become Joan of Arc. The hindsight of history allows us to indulge in the curious inclinations of this most famous m ...more
4.5 really...

The White Queen was a decent book that gave us the War of the Roses from the perspective of Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful former nobody who became the wife of Edward IV. The Red Queen is an excellent book from the Lancaster side, particularly that of Margaret Beaufort – cousin to the Lancastrian King Henry VI, child-bride of Edmund Tudor, possessor of saint’s knees and barely-even-teen-mum to the future King of England Henry Tudor (who was helped in large part to become King
Dec 09, 2010 Katrina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adult (Female) Historical Fiction Fans
OK, I didn't like this book as much as The White Queen, the first book in the Cousin's War trilogy. This is absolutely no fault of Gregory's, I just could not like this protagonist! The Red Queen takes place at about the same time in history as The White Queen but it is the story of Henry VII's mother, Margaret Beaufort, told in her own words. You would think that this would but her in a good light but Gregory has created such a hippocritical, ambitious, stuck-up character that no matter how ros ...more
Amy Ayers
I enjoyed this book. I see a lot of 1 star reviews because people hated the main character. I never expected to like her. **spoilers**Although she was a little girl who was forced to marry a man in his mid 20s who basically forced himself on her every night, had a baby and was told since her husband dies she has to marry a man in his 40's and leave her baby behind. She was a slave who rose above herself to put her son on the Throne of England. She turned into an horrific person when she had thos ...more
*takes deep breath*

I don't know what to say about this book. So I'll start with the postitive things. The story is fast-paced and when you read it, it flows. You just have to keep reading. The writing style is easy to read even for people whose mother language is not English...


the problem I had with this story is not the story or the writing. It is the main character. Maragret is egoistical, obsessive and vain . And I just can't deal with characters who are like that. Yes, she may stand
Not as good as The White Queen.

The Red Queen takes place in the same time period as The White Queen, and covers many of the same historical events. The reign of King Edward IV and treachery of his brother, the eventual King Richard III, were at the heart of The White Queen. The protagonist of that book, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, was the center of the court and the heart of the action in those years. The main character in The Red Queen, Lady Margaret Stanley, is continually out of the court's fa
Mar 13, 2013 Lucinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully blending historical fact with vivid creative vision, this splendid read is magnificent and bold.

Philippa Gregory, bestselling author of ‘The other Boleyn girl’ in my opinion is one of the best writers of historical fiction connected to the Tudor period. She brings to life the fiery, heated passion and rivalry within the dangerous Tudor Court through in-depth research and acute perception that is so assured. Full of substance and promising premise, Margaret Beaufort’s tale is one th
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

The Cousins' War (6 books)
  • The White Queen (The Cousins' War, #1)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Cousins' War,  #5)
  • The King's Curse (The Cousins' War, #6)

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“Yes, but either way, shamed or not, I shall be Queen of England, and this is the last time you will sit in my presence.” 18 likes
“I will learn to smile at my enemies.” 13 likes
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