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The Red Queen (Cousins War 2) [Paperback]

Philippa Gregory
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

23 May 2013 Cousins War 2
The second book in Philippa's stunning new series, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses. The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (23 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471128784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471128783
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country.

Product Description


'Philippa Gregory has made a name for herself as the queen of historical fiction. After her phenomenally successful Tudor novels, she's now moved on to the Wars of the Roses... Having written six novels set during the Tudor period -- spawning films and TV series along the way -- Philippa Gregory changed publishers last year and turned her hand to a new period spanning the Wars of the Roses. At her new home, Simon & Schuster, The White Queen -- a first person narrative of the life of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV and mother of the ill-fated Princes in the Tower -- was an instant success , and she follows it this August with a book about a woman on the other side of the war: The Red Queen' 'Writing Royalty' Bookseller 4/6 'This interweaving of the personal and the historical in a way that is fluid and entirely believable is, of course, why one reads Gregory in the first place. But the backbone of this book is the manipulation of her central character, the way in which Gregory successfully guides her from hero to antihero, keeping her compelling all along. Once that job is done, and Margaret has gone truly bad, the action breads into a proper gallop. There is more bitching, double-dealing and downright skulduggery than in an entire series of The Thick Of It, and a splendidly bloody climax to boot. Delightful escapism' The Times 14/8 'The narrative has both drive and immediacy which, combined with the meticulous research characteristic of all Philippa Gregory's books, bring the 15th century alive... The Red Queen is a vivid and compelling evocation of a turbulent period' Daily Express 13/8 'This is a vivid recreation of an unsympathetic and ruthless manipulator...compulsive tale of dynastic deviousness' Marie Claire, September Issue 'Gregory is a serious historian who steeps herself in source materials.' Elizabeth Grice, Daily Telegraph 14/08 'Gregory's skill as a storyteller makes the novel fast-paced, wearing its meticulous research lightly as it plunges the readers into a time when power struggles between rival factions resulted in a county at war with itself' Metro 19/8 'This dramatic book follows the life of the courageous Margaret Beaufort. After marrying a much older man and becoming a teenage mum, she decides her son will one day be crowned King of England. This gripping novel tells a fictional story of the Tudor monarchy's earliest roots' Hot Stars, OK! Magazine 21/8 'You Can't Miss ...Philippa Gregory's latest offering The Red Queen, which comes out this week. The second release of her new trilogy The Cousins' War picks up the story of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor' The Lady, 17/8 'Gregory brings the past to life, padding any gaps in historical record with a little artistic licence. The result is an entertaining romp about battling the odds -- and winning' SHE, September Issue Interview with Philippa Gregory by Charlotte Cripps 'Cultural Life', Independent 27/8 'Philippa Gregory's books are always well-researched, informative and entertaining. This one is brilliant...We have enjoyed every page of a riveting novel.' Sunday Express 29/8 'Gregory brings another historical white rabbit out of a hat to deliver an absorbing drama' Wendy Holden, Daily Mail 3/9 'Gregory's portrayal reveals a woman who is cunning and hard to like, but a great deal more adept and resourceful than many of the chaps in armour.' The Sunday Times Magazine 12/9 "'I was glued to this, enthralled by the backstabbing and battles, never knowing how it would end. All's unfair in love and war in this action-packed novel' -Cheryl Pasquier, Hastings" - Books Quarterly, Waterstones, October 2010 'Gregory's novels navigate the great currents of English politics with singular dexterity, bringing history to life with a keen eye for the small, emotional moments that were every bit as decisive as the battles we learn about at school' - B THERE! August 2010 'An enthralling read rich in period detail, this brings the past to vivid life' - Woman, July 15, 2010 '...intrigue, treachery, and bare-faced ambition, all beautifully fashioned into a lip-smackingly thrilling package' - The Times, August 14, 2010 'Gregory brings another historical white rabbit out of a hat to deliver an absorbing drama' - The Daily Mail, September 2010 'Rarely has history been so seductive' - Tatler, August 2010 '...another stunning piece of historical fiction' - Good Housekeeping, September 2010 'Philippa Gregory's books are always well-researched, informative and entertaining. This one is brilliant. With a little fiction expertly applied to embroider the facts, she makes history come alive.' - Sunday Express, August 29, 2010 'Gregory's stated aim is to give the women of the period a voice and in this she has succeeded magnificently.' -Good Book Guide, November 2010 'Gregory's new novel makes me feverishly want to be a Plantagenet. Perhaps not what she intended, but such are the side effects of bringing history to life as she does.' - Red, November 2010 'A dynamic yarn from the life of Margaret Beaufort, who grew from child-bride to founder of the Tudor dynasty' The Times 2/1 'The second volume in The Cousins' War trilogy centres on Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII's mother. Unlike her rival Elizabeth Woodville, the Yorkist queen Margaret wasn't beautiful or fecund, but pious and purposeful. Piloting readers through the Yorkist-Lancastrian wars is a tough call, but Gregory keeps a steady hand on a narrative that mainly dramatizes Margaret's three marriages and her fierce ambitions for her son' Elizabeth Buchan, The Sunday Times 10/4 'The second in Gregory's War of the Roses historical novels, sees Margaret Beaufort, heiress of the red rose, take centre stage' Daily Telegraph 9/4

About the Author

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds. Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country. A former student of Sussex university, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire. She welcomes visitors to her site

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
This is the second book in Philippa Gregory's new series set during the Wars of the Roses, a tumultuous period of English history in which the rival houses of York and Lancaster struggled for power. In The White Queen we met Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV of York, sister-in-law of Richard III and mother of the two young princes who mysteriously disappeared in the Tower of London in 1483. The Red Queen is the story of another woman who also played an important part in the Wars of the Roses: Margaret Beaufort of Lancaster, the mother of King Henry VII.

Although this is the second book in the series, I wouldn't really describe it as a sequel - that is, The Red Queen doesn't just pick up where The White Queen left off. The two books overlap somewhat and cover some of the same events, but from opposing sides of the conflict. You don't really need to have read the first book to understand this one, although it would probably make sense to read them in the correct order. I really like the concept of two books each telling the story from a different perspective; throughout much of The White Queen, Margaret Beaufort and the Tudors were shadowy characters in the background, plotting and scheming from afar, so it was good to have them take centre stage in The Red Queen.

One of the themes running throughout the book is Margaret's belief that God has chosen her to be another Joan of Arc, who will lead the House of Lancaster to victory, and that God's will is for her son Henry Tudor to be crowned King. Margaret was not very likeable - in fact she came across as a very cold, ambitious and unpleasant person - but as far as I can tell, this is probably true of the historical Margaret.
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118 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ambitious woman behind the Tudor dynasty 20 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the second novel in this series about the Wars of the Roses, Philippa Gregory switches her focus from the House of York to the House of Lancaster and specifically to Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor, later Henry VII.

I did not warm to Margaret as I did Elizabeth Neville but she emerges here as a fascinating, dangerous woman, who put her ambitions for her son and House above all else.

Margaret tells her own story from the age of nine and emerges quickly as a deeply religious young woman who would have welcomed a life within the Church. Instead, due to her royal lineage, she is required to make an advantageous marriage with another family of the royal line. Thus, she is married at the age of twelve to Edmund Tudor, who was twice her age. This union resulted in her giving birth when she was thirteen to her only child, Henry. Edmund died in captivity when Margaret was pregnant. When another marriage was arranged by her family a few years later she was required to leave Henry in Wales to be raised by his uncle, Jasper Tudor.

As time passes Margaret's desire to see the House of Lancaster restored to its position and her son claim the throne of England becomes an all consuming obsession. She is quite willing for those who stand between Henry and the crown to die and to see the entire country plunged into bloody warfare to achieve this end.

As the narrative progresses Margaret as the Red Queen and Elizabeth Neville as the White Queen take on an almost archetypal quality as if they are queens in a game of chess that will determine the future of England.

Margaret Beaufort's sense of self-righteousness and ruthless ambition was quite astonishing.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't come close to her other works! 2 Aug 2011
By Alicia
I love reading Philippa Gregory's books so was very excited to read the sequel to The White Queen. Unfortunately I was rather disappointed. Even overlooking Gregory's portrayal of the central character as utterly unlikeable, resulting in the reader having little or no empathy for her, the obsessive nature of her character lead to the writing becoming repetitive, tiresome and uncharacteristically boring from Gregory. I really didn't care one way or the other if I finished it or not. Such a shame. Save your money and stick to Gregory's other books!
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229 of 257 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Conned! 18 Sep 2010
By Sue
I have always thought it rather rude to write a bad review of a novel that some poor author has struggled over for months, carefully crafting a story just for our entertainment - but in this case I'm going to make an exception. This was not just a bad novel - I could have coped with that - after all Ms Gregory has given me many hours of innocent pleasure. No - this was just lazy.

Having enjoyed 'The White Queen' I chose this one to take on holiday and settled down by the pool for a good long read. I had hoped for further insights into the shadowy figures behind the story of the Wars of the Roses. I had hoped that the story would be taken beyond 1485 - to the years when Margaret was the mother of the king. Instead we got the earlier novel regurgitated, from a slightly different angle. It even repeated many of the scenes. If I had to read about the witch's wind or the water goddess one more time I think I would have thrown the thing into the deep end. Catch that, Melusina! Even had I not already read the story of Elizabeth Woodville, I would have found the endless references to her beauty and her catching a husband by standing at a roadside, frustrating. The only insight into Margaret Beaufort we were given was that she was religious, had a rotten childhood and was a bit tedious. I think we got that after the first fifty pages - but we had to sit it out for another three hundred and thirty. Just as things were about to get interesting, when we might have discovered whether she ever did wield any influence over the court, the story ended. Presumably we will have to fork out for the third in the trilogy to find out what happened next. It might just be quicker, and no less insightful, to look it up in wikipaedia.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really enjoyed this book
Published 1 day ago by Bunny
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic way of learning history of that period.
Great source for learning history of that period from Margaret Beaufort's stand point. Great read as usual.
Published 13 days ago by E. McLeod
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent phillipa at her best
Published 14 days ago by Gail Hardman-Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 15 days ago by mrs g roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Part of the Cousins' War series: as good as ever
It does not seem to matter which you read first, as you are approaching the situation from another angle each time. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Fred Everett
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Margaret Beaufort's experiences in early teenage years were taxing and this account gives the reader an insight into life in her time. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Hobbs
Published 1 month ago by Katie
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Good stylish writing. Could have distinguished between the characters more. Would recommend to anyone interested in medieval history and the Wars of the Roses.
Published 1 month ago by Mary Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books by Philippa
I love Philippa Gregory Historical Novels and got right into this series. Couldn't wait for the next one to come out. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marinamol
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not historically accurate
If you're looking for a modern classic try looking elsewhere. This is a fun read. Easy to get through although not the best piece of writing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Link
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