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REVIEW: The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

Product Description

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. But worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales. Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York’s daughter. As the political tides constantly move and shift, Margaret charts her own way through another loveless marriage, treacherous alliances, and secret plots. She feigns loyalty to the usurper Richard III and even carries his wife’s train at her coronation.
Widowed a second time, Margaret marries the ruthless, deceitful Thomas, Lord Stanley, and her fate stands on the knife edge of his will. Gambling her life that he will support her, she then masterminds one of the greatest rebellions of the time—all the while knowing that her son has grown to manhood, recruited an army, and now waits for his opportunity to win the greatest prize.
In a novel of conspiracy, passion, and coldhearted ambition, number one bestselling author Philippa Gregory has brought to life the story of a proud and determined woman who believes that she alone is destined, by her piety and lineage, to shape the course of history.

About the Author

Philippa Gregory is the author of several New York Times bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen’s Fool, The Virgin’s Lover, The Constant Princess, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Other Queen, and now The Cousins’ War books which include The White Queen and The Red Queen. She lives in England.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416563725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416563723


Margaret Beaufort was probably my least favorite in all of Philippa Gregory's heroines.  I normally love reading about the English monarchs, but I don't know if this queen is at all royal.  I guess for what she accomplished as a women in her time was to say the least, incredible and for that reason alone she was never painted in a good light in any historical documents.  Gregory does do a wonderful job in portraying Margaret as what she must have been a scheming person, only trying to further herself and her family and cutting those down that got in her way.  She is a most significant figure since she is really the one who brought the Tudor name to fame.   Not my favorite of Gregory's books, but it is a good historical perspective.


  1. I recently read a historical fiction book and loved it. What would be your suggestion for a good read to continue with this genre??

  2. I've been waiting to have someone I follow review this book. I love this author but wasn't sure about this book. I'm glad you liked it and now I'll have to add it to my TBR list.

  3. Jean Plaidy (also aka Victoria Holt) is my all time favorite historical fiction author. Her books are bit more romance though.

    The Red Queen was not my favorite Gregory book, the favorite would have to be The Other Boleyn Girl.

    If you are looking for historical facts, try Alison Weir. Her books are very readable for that genre.

    Others: Sarah Dunant, Robin Maxwell, Susan Carroll, Carrolly Erickson and those are the ones that come to mind right now.

  4. i'm looking forward to reading this as I have a mild obsession with the Tudors and want to know more about their history. Seems as though others also think this isn't the best book of the bunch, which is good to know, so I can read it not expecting much (which means I'll probably enjoy it more than if i went into it expecting lots!)

  5. I have put off reading this one. I will eventually, but found the Gregory Henry/Anne etc stories much more interesting.
    I didn't know Plaidy was Holt. Learn something new everyday.

  6. I read every Victoria Holt book as a teen (the library stocked every single one LOL) and the librarian recommended the Jean Plaidy books. I miss that cute little library -- I used to practically live there in the summer.


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