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Philippa Gregory

Discussion in 'Book club' started by rayondesoleil1976, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. rayondesoleil1976

    rayondesoleil1976 Occasional commenter

    I'm a little let down by the BBC series. Can't explain why except that it all looks a bit too glossy for it to be Tudor England. Anyway, are the books any better? I'm looking for a good series of novels to get my teeth into over the Summer. I enjoyed reading David Starkey books. They're not novels, I know, but they were written in a very accessible style. Nothing too dry. I'm just wondering if I might enjoy the Philippa Gregory novels...

    Thanks if you can make any sense of my end of term ramblings. I'm just looking forward to having lots of free time and a clear head to indulge in some reading!
  2. rosaespanola

    rosaespanola New commenter

    I wasn't mad keen on any of the Philippa Gregory I've read. There seems to be a lot of very samey historical fiction around at the moment (my particular bugbear is the type that do the parallel stories following a character in the present day and one from some point in the past, with some kind of improbable link between the two - Kate Mosse, Tracey Chevalier et al) and I didn't find that Philippa Gregory stood out in any way.

    If you like historical stuff, I'd recommend Sara Donati's Wilderness series, which follows settlers in early 1800s America, and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, which has a slightly improbable time travel-related premise, but is actually really good - set in Scotland, France, America & the Caribbean in the 1800s. I've re-read them lots of times and I really enjoy them. Great characters and interesting plotlines, with a suitable amount of adventure, romance and suspense.
  3. Ladykaza

    Ladykaza Senior commenter

    I read The Boleyn Inheritance ( despite the title is about Anne of Cleves) when someone left it in a holiday home we were renting. I enjoyed it and learnt a few things when I thought I knew quite a lot already.
  4. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I have enjoyed Sarah Dunant's novels on renaissance Italy - am currently reading her new one about the Borgias. Quite literary and interesting. I really liked Philippa Gregory's first few books but I've found that they do get a bit samey after a while. The Plantaganet novels have been better - I enjoyed The Red Queen very much.
  5. The books really are much better than the TV series. I really don't think it was a good idea to try to cram so many books into one series because the whole story is too rushed and I find with TV that I want a hero to support, the only person I find myself wishing well in the TV series is Anne Neville and knowing the history I just don't see the point in wasting my time backing her! TV seems to have taken the drama and intrique out of the story and I can't help thinking the interpretation of Margaret Beaufort is much too modern.
  6. lily_the_pink

    lily_the_pink New commenter

    Philippa Gregory is easy to read and quite fun. I also really like Jean Plaidy - my history teacher recommended her to me when I was about 13. The books about Isabella and Ferdinand are great - I think the first one was called "Castile for Isabella".

    Have you watched The Tudors TV series? Quite glam also, but nice to dip into.
  7. pixel

    pixel New commenter

    I read the first book "The White Queen" a couple of years ago, but did not buy the others because the Kindle price shot up. The book I read is considerably better that the TV series.

    We have to keep stopping the TV programme to explain to each other who everyone is and extraneous characters keep appearing.
  8. Underachiever

    Underachiever New commenter

    I found The Other Boleyn Girl a good holiday read, but not so good that I've rushed out and bought any other Philippa Gregory title.
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I enjoyed Earthly Joys very much and read a couple after on the strength of that but soon found they became tedious.
  10. I have read all the books in the Cousin's War Series and would highly recommend them - far better than the series. I thought Philippa Gregory used an interesting technique of telling each book from the perspective of a different character, often covering the same events. It really makes the reader think about viewpoint and twists and turns one's sympathies!
  11. The present Mrs. Scorpius likes the Phillipa Gregory novels, and after the first episode ot 'The White Queen' on BBC1 I expressed an interest in reading them too. The following nine episodes then beat that interest out of me.

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