Philippa Gregory

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Philippa Gregory

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in Kenya
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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen.

Now a recognised authority on women’s history, Philippa graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent and was made Alumna of the Year in 2009. She holds honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Uni
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Philippa Gregory I have a very strict rule on this! No woman should wish to live before 1960 – life without reliable contraception was always a constant anxiety. No wo…moreI have a very strict rule on this! No woman should wish to live before 1960 – life without reliable contraception was always a constant anxiety. No woman who wants political power could be happy before we got the vote in the 1920s. No woman wanting an education should live in any period before women were admitted to universities and could graduate – so the 1920s for the UK. No married woman could own her own property before 1870 – you fundamentally became part of your husband's estate. In short, despite the dresses and the jewels for the upper classes the best time to be a woman in the western world is probably now. (less)
Philippa Gregory Alas, poor me! I really hate the sort of trolling that occurs from time to time, and I am amazed at the tone that people think appropriate to write ab…moreAlas, poor me! I really hate the sort of trolling that occurs from time to time, and I am amazed at the tone that people think appropriate to write about someone, or even to write to them. A lot of the most spiteful people are not trained historians – so they haven't learned the habit of detachment from the subject – they write as if they are defending an unjustly accused personal friend, whereas the reputation of these characters is something which can be rightly and carefully considered, and the people lived 500 years ago! At all the universities where I have taught or studied there is an absolute commitment to scholarly discussion which should never be personal or rude, and is supposed to get you – by the exchange of views and information – to a greater truth. So it is surprising and even shocking when people just rant. But often they forget that the books are novels, they are fiction and though based on fact they are supposed to be works of literature with their own narrative arc and language. I am not obliged to record everything that happened or even the whole of the life. The other thing that people seem to forget is that the books are almost all written from a point of view – often it's not what I think of a character, but what the narrator thinks of a character. You can see this really well in the contrast between The White Queen which was written from the point of view of Elizabeth Woodville, and The Red Queen which was written from the point of view of Margaret Beaufort. Their opinions of each other are those of rivals and sometimes friends and ultimately enemies – but I don't think of Elizabeth Woodville as a conniving sexually manipulative witch – that's Margaret Beaufort's opinion. My job is to get into her head, so as to invite the reader into her head and let the reader see the world through Margaret Beaufort's eyes with her prejudices and her mistakes. AND (as if this weren't complicated enough) Margaret Beaufort does not know all the history that I know, she does not know what happens after her death, so her account of the times is not what I would write if I were writing history. She's a fictional character in my novel and her view is a fictional account from a very limited idiosyncratic point of view. And finally – sorry for such a long answer – I think the controversy is the downside of success. More than 9 million people read my books – naturally a proportion of them won't enjoy them, or prefer one to another, or prefer the tv or the films. But on the other hand I enjoy a lot of praise and I get great reviews and I number some of the great historians of the period among my personal friends. The best response is from the readers who have been inspired to study history and read the records that I use for research so that they can find out for themselves what they think a character was like. That's so much more interesting than trying to shout other people down.(less)
Average rating: 3.92 · 1,487,649 ratings · 76,730 reviews · 97 distinct worksSimilar authors
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More books by Philippa Gregory…

Dark Tides publication day

My new novel, Dark Tides , is out today, and I'm so pleased to share it with you all. This is the second book in my Fairmile series, and the sequel to Tidelands , picking up the family's story twenty-one years later.

The book takes place in 1670, when a poor warehouse in Restoration London receives two unexpected visitors. The first is James Avery, a man restored to his wealth and title along Read more of this blog post »
21 likes ·   •  3 comments  •  flag
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Published on November 24, 2020 07:48 Tags: dark-tides, new-release
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
(15 books)
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3.94 avg rating — 1,325,958 ratings

The Constant Princess Three Sisters, Three Queens The Other Boleyn Girl The Boleyn Inheritance The Taming of the Queen The Queen's Fool The Virgin's Lover
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3.95 avg rating — 922,718 ratings

The White Queen The Red Queen The Lady of the Rivers The Kingmaker's Daughter The White Princess The King's Curse
(6 books)
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3.93 avg rating — 385,764 ratings

Wideacre The Favored Child Meridon
(3 books)
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3.50 avg rating — 44,244 ratings

Changeling Stormbringers Fools' Gold Dark Tracks
(4 books)
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3.38 avg rating — 15,248 ratings

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Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
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Philippa Gregory answered Janine's question: Philippa Gregory
Alas, poor me! I really hate the sort of trolling that occurs from time to time, and I am amazed at the tone that people think appropriate to write about someone, or even to write to them. A lot of the most spiteful people are not trained historians See Full Answer
Philippa Gregory made a comment in the group Ask Philippa GregoryAsk Philippa Gregory topic
" Dear All - this has been such a pleasure to talk with you all. I am so sorry that I couldn't answer every question, but it's been fun to spend most of ...more "
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More of Philippa's books…
“For Harry Potter I have all the time in the world.”
Philippa Gregory

“You can smile when your heart is breaking because you're a woman.”
Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl

“If it means something, take it to heart. If it means nothing, it's nothing. Let it go.”
Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl

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125481 Ask Philippa Gregory — 886 members — last activity Oct 30, 2017 05:29PM
Here's your opportunity to have your questions answered by queen of historical fiction, Philippa Gregory. Philippa will be answering your questions ab ...more



Comments (showing 1-3)    post a comment »
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Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer) I am such a huge fan! I love historical fiction so much, and your books are just perfect!


message 2: by Kellee (last edited Jan 28, 2013 08:57PM)

Kellee Farr I can never express the influence your work has had in my life. I struggled with reading anything above a young adult level (even into my late twenties)until I was given The Other Boleyn Girl. Thank you! I am dyslexic and the effort was never worth the story, until I found your work. I have never been drawn into a story as I was with that novel. You are a master at your craft, thank you for the influence you have had in my life!

What a great surprise to find out I have not purchased everything you have written. I can't wait to finish my collection and get lost in your world.


message 1: by Beth

Beth Hi Philippa,
Thanks for befriending this fellow author here on Goodreads! I looooove your books. :)


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