Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Philippa Gregory Books

I love the books about the wives of Henry VIII by Philippa Greggory. She really brings the queens to life and makes you relate to them. I don't know what order they were published in, but I recommend reading them in chronological order:

The Constant Princess
This is the sweet, sad story of Katherine of Aragon, a princess of Spain who first married Henry VIII's older brother Philip. When Philip died, she hung around England until she managed to marry Henry and become queen. I loved reading about Katherine's love story with two brothers and her quest to be England's queen.

The Other Boleyn Girl
This book focuses on Anne Boleyn's sister Mary, who was one of Henry's mistresses before Anne lured Henry in and convinced him to divorce Katherine and separate from the Catholic church. Even though its a little long, the book is sooooo good! The author really brings out the relationship between the two sisters and the king and the struggle of the Boleyn family to rise (and stay) in power. So so so good.

The Boleyn Inheritance
This picks up after Anne Boleyn is killed and after wife #3 (Jane Seymour) dies in childbirth. Henry picks wife #4, a German princess, from a painting and when she shows up, he does not like her at all. So then Kitty Howard, Anne Boleyn's cousin, flirts her way on to the throne instead. Its written from the perspective of wife #4, wife #5 and Anne Boleyn's sister-in-law. Very interesting (although a tad long). It really makes me think Henry VIII was off his rocker toward the end of his reign. Too much power.

If you read these, let me know what you think!

After these books, read The Queen's Fool (about Henry's children and their ascent to the throne), then The Virgin's Lover (about Queen Elizabeth, I'm reading this right now) and then The Other Queen (about Mary Queen of Scots, this one is still on my list to read).

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