This is a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII, and the one woman who destroyed two of his queens, from the bestselling author of "The Other Boleyn Girl". 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 Cleeves. She has her own good reasons for agreeing to marry a man old enough to be her father, in a country where both language and habits are foreign. Although fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she senses a trap closing around her. Catherine 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. The story of these three young women, trying to make their own way through the most volatile court in Europe at a time of religious upheaval and political uncertainty is Philippa Gregory's most intense novel yet.
First published 2006.
Praise for 'The Constant Princess': 'One of Gregory's great strengths as a novelist is her ability to take familiar historical figures and flesh them into living breathing human beings. "The Constant Princess" is a worthy successor to her previous novels about the Tudors and deserves to be a bestseller.' Daily Express 'Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing.' Daily Mail 'Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-plattered dining.' Telegraph 'The contemporary mistress of historical crime. Her novels are filled with strong, determined women who take their fate into their own hands!Gregory brings to life the sights, smells and textures of 16th-century England.' Kate Mosse, Financial Times 'Gregory vividly reconstructs life in the Spanish royal household, and contributes to the sense of Katherine's foreignness.' The Times 'The Virgin's Lover': 'A book to lose yourself in...a simmering mixture of intrigue, lust and betrayal at the court of Elizabeth I, it breathes new life into the suspected love affair between the young queen and Robert Dudley'. Daily Mail 'Convincing and entertaining.' Daily Telegraph 'Historical fiction at its best.' Choice 'An enjoyable read, and Gregory's energetic writing carries one along.' Sunday Telegraph 'A fascinating new take on a story we thought we knew.' Eve 'Highly readable, highly enjoyable.' Manchester City Life 'History has a sexy makeover in an erotic account of Elizabeth l's relationship with the married and tantalisingly unavailable Robert Dudley.' Glamour, Books of the Year 'Gripping and often moving.' Image 'Packed with court intrigue and sumptuous detail.' Dublin Evening Herald 'Gregory's success lies in restoring humanity to her historical figures.' Daily Mail 'Gregory vivdly portrays court life - all the political intrigue, divided loyalties, love and betrayal.' Woman and Home 'Gregory is one of the best chroniclers of the ups and downs of the turbulent Tudors...This superbly plotted drama unfolds like an exquisitely embroidered Tudor ruff.' Sainsbury's Magazine 'Queen of the historical novel.' Mail on Sunday 'Gregory creates an intriguing tale with many an unexpected twist.' Glasgow Herald 'The Other Boleyn Girl': 'It is a credit to Gregory that she is able to sustain interest in an epic-length tale when the ending is one of the most well-known moments in English history. The very believable dialogue and detail take you all the way into the claustrophobic privy chambers of the royal palaces!Gregory has launched herself into a popular period and produced something with that most underrated of virtues: readability.' The Times 'This is an intelligent variation on a familiar tale [with] witty use of metaphor.' Times Literary Supplement 'This compulsively readable novel is a wonderful account of the tudor court!This is the finest historical novel of this year.' Daily Mail Praise for 'The Queen's Fool': With her excellent eye for detail, [Gregory] moves "The Queen's Fool" along at a great pace.' Marie Claire Australia 'Totally absorbing!this is a triumphant piece of storytelling, not least because Gregory manages to make familiar events fresh and unloved people fascinating.' Gay Times 'Gregory offers a subtle examination of the tension between profound personal faith and the dangers of imposing that faith on others.' Jewish Quarterly 'It combines history and invention in gripping and memorable style.' Red 'Gregory weaves a brilliant and complex fictional web around historical fact. Hugely enjoyable.' Sainsbury's Magazine 'Historical fiction at its most masterly. Meticulously researched and realised and with an engaging and totally convincing heroine, "The Queen's Fool" invites readers to rethink their opinions of both 'Bloody' Mary and the 'Virgin' Queen. Superbly plotted, exquisitely written with the enviable capacity to simultaneously thrill and provoke thought, this novel is even more 'unputdownable' than "The Other Boleyn Girl."' Historical Novels Review 'Gregory serves up some more deliciously sombre moments from a factious Tudor court.' Independent 'Gregory's dramatic, plot-driven novel is thoroughly readable.' Sunday Herald
Philippa Gregory, who went to school in Bristol, has a history degree from the University of Sussex and a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She has worked as a journalist and for BBC Radio before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in North Yorkshire.