Have you started reading a great book only to find that it’s the second or third in a long series? Even worse if it mentions details from previous books you haven’t read! So, here at Apple Green Books we have put together a handy list for you to check the order of books in your favourite series, and you can also quickly and easily find them all on eBay for you to purchase. We hope you find it useful, and please do not hesitate to contact us to request a list of books we don’t have. Happy reading!
Philippa Gregory was born in Kenya in 1954, and then moved to England when she was two years old. She attended the University of Sussex, where she gained a degree in history, and then the University of Edinburgh where she gained a phD in 17th century Literature. Her historical novels have won her numerous awards, and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ was made into a film. Philippa currently lives in Sussex with her family.
The following Tudor Court books are not in order. Read them chronologically through time.
1. The Constant Princess (Katherine of Aragon)
We think of Katherine of Aragon as the barren wife of a notorious king; but behind this legacy lies a fascinating story.
Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both rulers and warriors. Aged four, she is betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and is raised to be Queen of England. She is never in doubt that it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land. Her faith is tested when her prospective father-in-law greets her arrival in her new country with a great insult; Arthur seems little better than a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse. Slowly she adapts to the first Tudor court, and life as Arthur’s wife grows ever more bearable. But when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty? Only by marrying Arthur’s young brother, the sunny but spoilt Henry. His father and grandmother are against it; her powerful parents prove little use. Yet Katherine is her mother’s daughter and her fighting spirit is strong. She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it.
2. The Other Boleyn Girl (Mary and Anne Boleyn)
Set in the court of King Henry VIII, Mary Boleyn attracts the attention of the young king and becomes his mistress; when he tires of her, she sets out to school her sister, Anne, as a replacement. Politics and passion are inextricably bound together in this compelling drama. The Boleyn family is keen to rise through the ranks of society, and what better way to attract the attention of the most powerful in the land than to place their most beautiful young woman at court? But Mary becomes the king’s mistress at a time of change. He needs his personal pleasures, but he also needs an heir. The unthinkable happens and the course of English history is irrevocably changed. For the women at the heart of the storm, they have only one weapon; and when it’s no longer enough to be the mistress, Mary must groom her younger sister in the ways of the king. What happens next is common knowledge – but here it is told in a way we’ve never heard it before, with all of Philippa Gregory’s characteristic perceptiveness, backed by meticulous research and superb storytelling skills.
3. The Wise Woman (A young girl forced out of her nunnery and into the real world during the reformation during Anne Boleyn's time of being queen)
Alys joins the nunnery to escape hardship and poverty but finds herself thrown back into the outside world when Henry VIII’s wreckers destroy her sanctuary. With nothing to support her but her looks, her magic and her own instinctive cunning, Alys has to tread a perilous path between the faith of her childhood and her own female power. When she falls in love with Hugo, the feudal lord and another woman’s husband, she dips into witchcraft to defeat her rival and to win her lover, but finds – as her cynical old foster-mother had advised – that magic makes a poor servant but a dominant master. Since heresy against the new church means the stake, and witchcraft the rope, Alys’s danger is mortal. A woman’s powers are no longer safe to use…
4. The Boleyn Inheritance (Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard)
The year is 1539 and the court of Henry VIII is increasingly fearful at the moods of the ageing sick king. With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleves.She has her own good reasons for agreeing to marry a man old enough to be her father, in a country where to her both language and habits are foreign. Although fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she senses a trap closing around her. Katherine is confident that she can follow in the steps of her cousin Anne Boleyn to dazzle her way to the throne but her kinswoman Jane Boleyn, haunted by the past, knows that Anne’s path led to Tower Green and to an adulterer’s death.
5. The Queen's Fool (A young Jewish girl's story of her service in the court of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I)
The rivalry between Queen Mary and her half-sister Elizabeth is played out against a background of betrayal, conflict and passion.The savage rivalry of the daughters of Henry VIII, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth, mirrors that of their mothers, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Each will fight by any available means for the crown and future of the kingdom. Elizabeth’s bitter struggle to claim the throne she believes is hers by right, and the man she desires almost more than her crown, is watched by her ‘fool’: a girl who has been forced to leave her homeland of Spain, as a Jew fleeing the Inquisition. In a court where truth is wittily denied and lies are mere games, it is the fool who can speak plainly: in these dangerous times, a woman must choose between ambition and love. Elizabeth will not make the same mistakes as her mother.
6. The Virgin’s Lover (Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley and Amy Robsart)
Elizabeth I has acceded to the throne of England, a position she has waited and schemed for all her life. She is surrounded by advisers, all convinced that a young woman cannot form political judgements. Elizabeth feels that she can rely on just one man: her oldest friend, Robert Dudley. It is soon plain that he is more than merely a friend.
In a house in the countryside waits a very different woman, Amy Robsart – Robert’s wife. She has no taste for life at court and longs for the day when her husband will return home. She has loved him since she was a girl, but now they are adults she hardly sees him.
Meanwhile, the pressure grows for Elizabeth to marry, for it is unthinkable that a queen should rule on her own. Elizabeth’s preference is clear, but he is unavailable. But what if the unthinkable were to happen…
7. The Other Queen (Mary, Queen of Scots, George Talbot and Bess of Hardwick)
Mary is Queen of Scotland but she has been forced to flee her land and take refuge in an England that is ruled by her cousin Elizabeth. But England, precarious in its Protestant state, set against the mighty powers of Spain, France and Rome, doesn’t need a charismatic Catholic figurehead at large. So Elizabeth’s chief advisor, Cecil, devises a plan in which Mary will live under guard with his trusted accomplice: Bess of Hardwick.
Bess is a self-made woman, a shrewd survivor. She is newly married to her fourth and most distinguished husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury. But what marriage can withstand the charms of Mary? Or the threat of rebellion that she always carries? Mary must wait in her privileged imprisonment for the return to Scotland and her infant son; but waiting is not the same as doing nothing…