If you’re looking for an intriguing new author, Philippa Gregory should be at the top of your reading list!
She is the author of several best selling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and according to Time, “Philippa Gregory turns real-life historical royalty into royally entertaining novels.” As a graduate of the University of Sussex and a recipient of a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Gregory is a recognized authority on women’s history.
“The history of the women of the period has been very neglected because of this emphasis on battles and thus the male leaders.”
As an author, Gregory has found a niche in writing fictional narratives about Britain’s traditionally forgotten women. She has given a voice to those who have been type-casted by history, and whose influences impacted medeival England as a whole. In total she has written twenty-eight novels, thirteen of which are based on the royal courts of 15th and 16th century England. The majority of these novels are narratives of those related to, or married to, Henry VIII of England. Along with writing about the major social upheavals during this period, Gregory also emphasizes the changes in policy and religion in her variety of literary works. She perfectly captures the many faces of Henry VIII, the philisophical issues presented by Martin Luther, and the many personalities of the leading ladies of that time.
Gregory, in almost every novel she has written, focuses on the experiences of the female narrator. She believes that, “The history of the women of the period has been very neglected because of this emphasis on battles and thus the male leaders.” In order to gain a better perspective, Gregory does mass amounts of research on her chosen heroine, and she has stressed, “The fiction, as always, is secondary to the history; the real women are always more complex and more conflicted, greater than the heroines of the novel…greater than they are reported, sometimes greater than the world wants them to be.” Gregory has included many true to life characters in her novels, the majority of her main characters are of the royal houses of Tudor and Plantagenet. Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, was one of the first historical figures Gregory wrote about in the novel The Constant Princess. It spans several decades of the life of one of the most intelligent women of the time. Gregory captures the harsh reality of what being a princess,wife, and queen really meant in the early 1500s.
In all, Philippa Gregory writes in the genre of historical fiction with a staggering ability to describe the strength and endurance it took to be a royal woman in England. For more information on Philippa Gregory please visit her website: Philipagregory.com