Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wideacre (The Wideacre Trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
Wideacre  (The Wideacre Trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wideacre (Wideacre #1)

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  19,670 Ratings  ·  1,657 Reviews
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory comes the stunning first novel of a thrilling trilogy about the Lacey family, and the captivating woman at the heart of a power-hungry estate willing to go to any means to protect her family name.

Beatrice Lacey, as strong-minded as she is beautiful, refuses to conform to the social customs of her time. Destined to
Paperback, 656 pages
Published July 2nd 2003 by Touchstone (first published April 1st 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wideacre, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Wideacre

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
l a i n e y
Beatrice Lacey. This girl, later woman, was very hurt, very obsessed, brimming with (deservedly) self-importance and very very  *ahem* lustful.

That is never a good combination for practially ANTHING.

Deranged, oppressive and god damn near suffocating.

It’s like watching someone so committed to her road to ruin/success and you have to give props to the woman, disagree with her or not, it takes extraordinary strength and courage (and more than a pinch of delusion) to do it with that sort of ownersh
I'm a reader who holds grudges. Disappoint me, and it's likely that an author will get cleaned off my shelves and dumped in the donation bin because if I try to read another title by them, the bad experience keeps lingering and trashes the current read. But Philippa Gregory has been the exception.

After two rather blah reads (A Respectable Trade and Fallen Skies, the latter which I will certainly re-attempt), this hefty saga was recommended to me by the awesome Sarah, whose similarly awesome revi
Jamie Collins
Sep 02, 2007 rated it did not like it
I absolutely hated this book. I don't know why I finished it, except that I like the way Phillipa Gregory writes, I just don't like what she writes about. The heroine is despicable in every possible way, yet the author clearly expects you to root for her à la Scarlett O'Hara. She commits multiple acts of murder, participates in very creepy incest, and betrays people who love her. I'm not particularly squeamish, but I do require some redeeming qualities in a protagonist if I'm to forgive them all ...more
Feb 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical, fiction
Horrible drivel! I had to scrub my brain after reading it. The lengths the heroine goes to for her beloved Wideacre would be semi-interesting if we gave a crap in the first place, but since the author can't even manage to do that well we don't give a crap and so it's a waste of our time and money!

Other books by this author are far, far better. Skip it! Read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' or 'The Boleyn Inheritance'!

Another one that went up on Bookmooch right away, and surprisingly was snapped right up.
Aug 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction who aren't completely freaked out by incest and rape
Even though it is at times grossly sexual (and I mean gross as in disgusting), the Wideacre trilogy is one of my favorite stories of all time. For me, it really captures the essence of the era, and I loved it so much that I read the entire trilogy (easily 1,500 pages) in about two weeks. If you're not uncomfortable with incest, rape and sodomy, it truly is a wonderful, entertaining read, if for no other reason than to show what lengths people will go to get what they think they want. Highly reco ...more
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Oh man. Beatrice Lacy you are one crazy little bitch. It’s not often that you get to read a story through the eyes of the villain, but I loved it! I know a lot of people didn’t care for the book because they found the protagonist hard to stomach. Oh yeah, and the vomit inducing incest probably didn’t help either.
She was perhaps one of the shrewdest, most vile characters I have come across. She had no conscience and took down everything and everyone that stood in her way. Half way through the bo
Sarah Mac
I've never read any of Ms Gregory's Tudor novels. The Tudor era doesn't particularly interest me (though I'm not opposed to the period if a novel has elements I enjoy), so I was intrigued by this trilogy for three reasons: 1) the Georgian setting; 2) her earlier (supposedly less-romantic) work; 3) the negative reviews due to an antagonistic & incestuous heroine.

I agree the incest is gross. It's definitely not the sort that draws a reader's sympathy (like, say, Flowers in the Attic). But once
Nov 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Didn't even finish reading this one. The characters are put into neat little boxes: Beatrice is evil, Harry is simpleminded, Celia is demure and kind, etc. The incest was disturbing, but it wasn't the incest that it caused me to stop reading the book. I just reached a point where I realized that I had already read 400+ pages of a book I didn't like and was only 2/3 of the way through. I felt like my time would be better spent doing just about anything other than reading this ridiculous book.
Sep 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Enjoy Historical Fiction And Don't Mind A Very Scandalous Narrator
I loved the first half of this book. Beatrice Lacey is by far the most horrible, hateful, despicable narrator I've ever read, but I found myself rooting for her throughout all her scandalous deeds- the conspired murder, the attempted murder, the committed murder, the incest, the hidden pregnancies, and on and on the list goes. I even found myself disliking sweet little Celia, as wonderful a woman as she was, simply because she was Beatrice's enemy. That, I think, is the mark of a truly wonderful ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very strong social message in this book.
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
PG likes incest a lot more than I do.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was something else! I LOVED it! Beatrice is the most insane, deranged, evil?, main character I’ve ever come across in historical fiction. I mean seriously badass! The book was also shocking in many ways all involving the deeds and plans of Beatrice Lacey. She is like a ramped up Scarlett O Hara.

All the while I was reading this my own ‘inner reading voice’ was making me laugh!: No, she didn’t just do that! She can’t do that ! What is wrong with this woman? What a bitch! Say, what now?
Apr 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tiffany by: Kathleen
Beatrice is one of my favorite characters of all times. She is confident, self-assured, unyielding, and maybe one of the biggest bitches in literature. With all the books out there that negate women's power and authority (uh hm...TWILIGHT), Gregory knows how to create a character that uses her strong feminine prowess and works the system. "The system" being the 18th century society in which women had very few rights and entitlement. What I think redeems Beatrice is her connection with the land a ...more
Dark, disturbing and downright demented family sagas are my thing, and the Lacey's of Wideacre definitely fit that bill. Our 'heroine' is daughter of the house, Beatrice, for whom incest, murder, scheming and wrecking is a day well spent. Batshit crazy for her is child's play; this sick bitch is the real deal and I loved her for it. Being inside her warped head with all its twisted reasonings had me sympathising with her to a point; I hated what she did, but I understood why she did it, and the ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
This book was crazy.

It was trashy, entertaining, and scandalous.

Beatrice was an unlikable character but I LOVED her. She was shameless, and it was oddly refreshing to not have her (really) angst about her moral failings.

This was, to date, the most entertaining book Gregory has ever written.

Beatrice reminded me a lot of Scarlett, but like the bad girl version.

Also some V.C. Andrews thrown in with the incest and gothic feels.

Not for the faint of heart tho.

Jun 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I really wonder what Philippa Gregory was going for in this novel, because she certainly didn't give us a likable heroine in the slightest. Beatrice Lacey is one of the most horrible, nasty protagonists I've read...and honestly I enjoyed her scandalous behavior. I went into this novel knowing that she was a universally disliked character, and I think that really helped my overall enjoyment of this.

I did find myself actually wishing Beatrice would get her way during parts of the novel, which surp
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like disturbed characters
I’m going to disagree with the majority of reviews here and say that I loved the book. I couldn’t put it down so much that I had read over half of it on the first day of purchase. I really liked the style of writing, the way you felt every emotion, good or bad that Beatrice was going through. The incestuous theme seems to have caused quite a stir here but for me the lead up to it was so intense that I found myself rooting for it to happen! Yes Beatrice is evil, and yes she is certainly vile but ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Someone who married their brother
The only reason I gave this book a star is because the darn system wouldn't let me give less. Now, I'm not a prude who doesn't like my book to contain a bit of a steamy scene once in a while. In fact, bring it on. JUST NOT WITH YOUR BROTHER. I loved the time period of this book, and initially I was impressed with the strength of the heroine. However...she lost me when she started thinking up ways to seduce her brother. And chucked a darling hubby out the window (Not literally). What was that abo ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: suzysshelf
I have never read a book where I detested the protagonist more than I did in this one. I have read other of Phillipa Gregory's books and always liked the main character but this one is a dozzy. She is selfish, she betrays almost everyone in her life all in the need to own the house and property where she grew up, Wideacre. She even has well I don't want to spoil the plot, so I will only say that I couldn't wait for her to get what she deserved. I just couldn't like her but there are other nice c ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book is seriously trash. We see events through Beatrice, our main character and villian. She is so terribly bad with no redeeming quality, it is ridiculous. This is the first in a triliogy, and I won't be reading another. I actually really like Gregory's historical fiction, but I think she must be better when she is left in the confines of real events and people. When she allows her own imagination to run wild, it goes really wild, to the laughable. How did you feel about the movie Show Gir ...more
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wowee! What a sociopath the main character in this story is! Beatrice Lacey at fifteen knows she never wants to leave her beloved home at Wideacre. If this means parricide, murder and incest so be it. All I can say is Gregory has written yet another very interesting tale. While you find yourself uncomfortable inside Beatrice's head the story is so salaciously intriguing that you can't stop reading because you need to know the outcome for the dozens of other much more sympathetic characters invol ...more
Aug 13, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, yuck
Though I loved The Other Boleyn Girl by P. Gregory, I did not enjoy this one. The main character was a complete witch and didn't deserve any sympathy. I only kept reading it so that she would get her cumupins, which she rightly deserved. There was one particular aspect of the book that made my skin crawl and I felt dirty for just reading it. I have really no desire to read the other books in the trilogy if all of them are like this.
Mar 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
It's been six years since I read Wideacre and while writing this review I'm pretty shocked to find that I'm still angry. I have never hated a character more than I hated Beatrice Lacey. If I could have written myself into this book I would have shown up just about half way through with a shotgun and ended everyone's suffering. The only reason I finished it was because I was praying someone would kill her.

No seriously. The main character in this book is also THE VILLAIN. She makes Holden Caulfie
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who liked The Other Boelyn Girl, people who liked Gone With the Wind
If Gone With the Wind happened in might look a little like this!

A ruthlessly sexy yet detestible anti-heroine captivates your attention as she will do anything to inherit her childhood plantation, including


arrange the murder of her own father, murder the murderer, commit incest with her brother, strangle-hold her own sister-in-law, arrange the murder of her mother, and drive her husband to ruin.

Yet with all this evil, the book's genteel language and spectac
Sep 06, 2007 rated it did not like it
I had heard soooo much about Philippa Gregory's novels. I had initially wanted to read "The Other Boleyn Girl" first, but it was unavailable, so I picked up Wideacre first and cracked it open with anticipation....I think I had read 4 chapters before I threw it against the wall. I think there has only been a couple of times where I just can't finish a book, usually I'll plod through just because I feel guilty for not finishing! But with this book, I just absolutely hated the characters! Ugh! I'll ...more
Nicole Field
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book a couple of days ago, and I'm still thinking of the last line of it. A book that can get that response deserves five stars.

This book, in addition to that, also did the very difficult job of telling a story that was compelling and moving while at the same time starring and unlikeable character. Beatrice Lacey is a young woman with her while life ahead of her and only one thing she wants: her father's land, Wideacre. As this is a story set in the eighteen hundreds, Beatrice co
Mar 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, mooched
This is just plain silly. I had no preconceptions about Philippa Gregory when I started it, and I initially thought it was a serious historical novel, until it turned into (literally) bodice-ripping trash. The whole thing was so completely implausible. I don't have a problem with such a loathsome main character -- it's quite a challenge writing a book whose "heroine" is so unpleasant -- but did all the other characters have to be quite so stupid and blind? It also seemed to me that in reality, B ...more
Rebecca Huston
One of PG's earliest novels, this one was a novel that I did not like at all. Beatrice Lacey, the heroine, is utterly without morals or discretion in striving to keep her home, Wideacre, in her own hands. For that, she will lie, murder, steal and betray, and if she breaks social taboos, so be it. While at first I was somewhat intrigued, this novel descended rapidly into a turgid, highsexed travesty of a story, worst still, it grinds on endlessly over hundreds of pages. If you can handle this one ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Wideacre by Philippa Gregory - Starting 14th July 3 4 14 hours, 35 min ago  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Historic fiction. Romance? Incest brother/sister. Spoilers ahead. [s] 6 48 Jul 11, 2018 06:34AM  
Wonderful Book 21 90 May 07, 2018 02:35PM  
Were we supposed to like Beatrice? 1 9 Oct 11, 2017 08:48AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 12:28PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Wideacre by Philippa Gregory 1 19 Feb 17, 2015 03:43PM  
Has anyone else read this book? 13 73 Sep 04, 2014 08:18AM  
  • The women of Eden (Eden #4)
  • The Rain Maiden
  • Devil Water
  • The Lady in the Tower (Queens of England, #4)
  • The Exiled (War of the Roses, #2)
  • The Silver Rose (The Dark Queen Saga, #3)
  • Between Two Queens (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #2)
  • The Queen's Bastard
  • The Queen's Lady (Thornleigh, #1)
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • The Scandal of the Season
  • Lily Cigar
  • Life Mask
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

Wideacre (3 books)
  • The Favored Child (The Wideacre Trilogy, #2)
  • Meridon (The Wideacre Trilogy, #3)

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Stray City
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • That Kind of Mother
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Weight of Ink
    $10.99 $2.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Take Two (Above the Line, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Send Down the Rain
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • I Want to Show You More: Stories
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Katherine
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Revenge of the Lawn / The Abortion / So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Where We Belong
    $5.99 $1.49
  • Cashelmara
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
“One never gets the same summer twice.” 3 likes
“I also felt a storm in the air. It prickled on the horizon. I felt it on my skin. The skies were clear, I could not wish for clearer. But I could feel the clouds massing against me, somewhere over the horizon.” 3 likes
More quotes…