The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels books series are written by famous English historian and writer Philippa Gregory.
The book series are historical novels about the Tudor family and the House of Plantagenet or the Angevin Dynasty.
The acclaimed author has done quite a bit of research and the books are an illustration of the historical events of two of the most famous British royal families.
The novels are written from a female’s perspective. It highlights the social position of Tudor women and how they made their mark in patriarchal Tudor society. Many of Philippa Gregory’s novels have been adapted into movies and major TV shows.
What order should I read the Tudor Court novels?
Gregory’s first ever book that was published was the “The Other Boleyn Girl” in 2001 and the latest being the “The Last Tudor” in 2017. The author did not follow any chronological order for writing her book. However, she has suggested a reading order based on the real-life events of the historical families.
The Lady of the Rivers
The story is narrated by Jacquetta, the beautiful Duchess of Bedford. Jacquetta, also known as “mystical lady of the rivers” was a woman of great ambition and would bring a great deal of power and recognition to her family.
Young Jacquetta gets married to the Duke of Bedford, France. In her household, she befriends the Duke’s squire Richard Woodville.
At the death of her husband, the young duchess gets comfort from Richard Woodville and the two become lovers.
The couple gets married in secret and returns to the court of King Henry VI and Jacquetta soon becomes a loyal friend of the queen.
Jacquetta and Woodville earn a special place in the court and become loyal servants to the Duke of France. There follows the extraordinary story of loyalty and power for the House of York, and the unexpected journey of Elizabeth, the daughter of Jacquetta Woodville and the future Queen of England.
The White Queen
Next comes in line the remarkable story of Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of Jacquetta and Richard Woodville, the future Queen of England.
The inspirational story relates to the rise of power of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of relentless ambition and stunning beauty.
Elizabeth followed her mother’s footsteps and was resolute to bring more power and success to her family.
Elizabeth’s undaunted beauty soon captures the attention of crowned King Edward IV of England. The couple gets married in secret.
The court, however, did not accept Elizabeth as their new queen, but Elizabeth fought and established herself in the court.
The story also narrates the violent ‘War of the Roses’ and the sudden disappearance of her two sons which remains a mystery for centuries.
The Red Queen
The Red Queen recounts the story of the life of Margaret Beaufort, heiress to the Red Rose of Lancaster. The story unfolds and takes you to a journey of treachery, conspiracy, and extreme ambition of a coldhearted woman.
Margaret Beaufort believed that her family was destined to the throne of England. She gets married to a person, twice her age and becomes a mother to a son at the young age of 14. She names her son Henry and sets out with her dream to become the most powerful family of England even at the cost of her own son.
She faces rivalry from her counterparts and sends her son to exile. Later she hatches a plan to get her son married to her sole enemy Elizabeth of York’s daughter. In the meanwhile, her son who is now a grown man gathers his own army and plans to conquer the throne of England.
The Kingmaker’s Daughter
The protagonist of this novel is Anne Neville who becomes the victim of her father Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick who uses her daughters as pawns in this political drama of all time.
Richard Neville known as Kingmaker was a man of great power in the 15th century in England. With no sons as an heir, the Kingmaker uses his two daughters Anne and Isabel as pawns in the political game of power.
Anna was left deeply bewildered with the actions of her father. At the age of 14, Anna was fatherless and widowed, but she managed to escape the grave situation by marrying Richard, the Duke of Gloucester. But nothing changed for poor Anna. She soon will find herself in another battle of power in her new found home.
The White Princess
The White Princess is the story of intense drama, emotional turmoil, and political collusion for the game of power and heir to the Rose of York.
The story is about Henry Tudor who wanted to marry Elizabeth York who was still in love with his former enemy.
The marriage would be an alliance between the families and his ticket to the throne, but he was afraid because England was still loyal to Elizabeth’s brother.
The Constant Princess
The Constant Princess, a great story and beautifully narrated revolves around Katherine of Aragon, the Princess of Spain.
Katherine’s sole ambition was to fulfill the dreams of her late husband Prince Arthur of England and change the future of England.
Katherine was the daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain and gets married to Prince Arthur of England at a very young age. The duo was in immense love and together they dreamt of building a new England.
Unfortunately, Arthur died at a very young age due to severe illness and Katherine was left widowed and shattered at the age of 16. At his deathbed, Arthur asked Katherine to marry his younger brother Henry and fulfill their dream.
But things changed and Katherine failed to convince her father-in-law that there is no obstacle in her to marry Henry, but instead, she was forced to live a life of great poverty and loneliness.
But Katherine has not lost hope. She still dreamed that one day she will fight against the Scots as a warrior princess and fulfill her dreams as the new Queen of England.
The King’s Curse
Here comes the story of Margaret Pole, the lady-in-waiting and her rise to power in the Tudor Court.
Margaret Pole belonged to the Plantagenet family line. She was married to Sir Richard Pole, Governor of Wales and soon becomes guardian to young Arthur the Prince of Wales.
A royal death in the family of Henry VIII’s court brings her to become the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine.
Here the story unfolds. Katherine is left in a state of utter confusion. Here she must decide whether she should support King Henry VIII or she must remain loyal to the old Queen.
Three Sisters, Three Queens
Three Sisters, Three Queens and engaging story of love, betrayal, and sisterhood.
This story is about three sisters Katherine, Margaret, and Mary who shares a unique bond of love and affection and how they are turned into bitter rivals for the fight for the throne.
Katherine, the oldest who was married to the Tudor family will turn against her sister Margaret and kill her husband James IV of Scotland. But eventually Margaret’s son becomes heir to the throne of England and Katherine loses her own son.
The story also foretells how Mary will steal the proposed husband of Margaret and how her secret love affair will be the envy of others.
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Other Boleyn Girl is a compelling story of young princess Mary Boleyn and her extraordinary determination and survival in the midst of great political turbulence.
When Mary Boleyn, comes to the Tudor court she was just 14 and falls for the charm of Henry VIII. The young princess unknown of the political conspiracies around her dreamt to be the queen one day.
Soon she realized that her own sister Anne Boleyn is her rival and she must fight for her position.
The historical drama is one of the bestselling novels of Gregory and has been adapted on Big screen as well.
The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance is a story of twisted love, betrayal, and jealousy and features the three very important women of the Tudor age.
Upon the death of his third wife, King Henry VIII of England decided to marry for the fourth time. He got engaged to Anne Boleyn, but this was not a marriage for love; it was a political alliance.
Soon, young Katherine captures the attention of Henry and affections grew between them. On the other hand, Jane Rochford who was married to George Boleyn will later responsible for Anne Boleyn’s death.
The Taming of the Queen
Gregory in her new book unfolds the story of a passionate English woman who longed to bring in parity and education at the court.
Kateryn Parr, was forced to marry King Henry VIII, but little did she knew what future beholds for her. King Henry’s previous wife lasted only 16 months.
But King Henry adores his new wife Kateryn and she grows quite close to her new family and develops a study circle in the court.
Kateryn soon became the leader of the protestant religious reform group and was the first woman to publish in English. But she soon became a threat and was persecuted for heresy.
The Queen’s Fool
Gregory brings out her masterpiece work “The Queen’s Fool”. Hannah was brought to the Tudor court as a “holy fool” to Queen Mary, but she was acting as a spy.
Here the story unfolds about treachery and witchcraft and how Hannah must choose between a life as a commoner or a dangerous life of a spy to the royal family.
The Virgin’s Lover
This book is a beautiful rendition of the love affair of Queen Elizabeth I and her childhood friend Sir Robert Dudley.
Amy Dudley who knows about her husband’s secret love was found dead at her residence in suspicious conditions. Situations turn and now both Elizabeth and Dudley are suspected for the death of Amy. Will they be able to marry each other? Gregory beautifully narrates this story of love and deceit in her new book.
The Last Tudor
The story revolves around the life of Jane Gray, the Queen of England for 9 days. How she was persecuted for her protestant faith by her own sister Mary Tudor and was sent to imprisonment in the Tower.
Soon Katherine the younger sister of Jane was pregnant and this betrays her secret marriage and was sent to the Tower by Elizabeth.
Mary was also aware that danger is lurking for her. Will Mary the last Tudor be able to survive the ruthless and cunning Queen Elizabeth? The story unfolds.
The Other Queen
The intriguing and suspense novel ‘The Other Queen’ is about Mary, Queen of Scots.
How she takes refuge in the home of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and Bess of Hardwick and how she will manipulate the situation to rebel against the Queen of England to reclaim her Scottish throne is narrated in this fascinating book.