Philippa Gregory in Chronological Order

Update 9/20/2015: Since my last update, I’ve read The White Princess and The King’s Curse. I’ve added both of those novels into the timeline at the bottom of this post. The King’s Curse was particularly tricky as it covers the course of Margaret Pole’s life and Henry VIII’s entire reign. I added it before The Constant Princess, but I thought it was a nice review of Henry VIII’s reign from a distance. If you were to read it after the novels about Queen Mary’s reign you will be happy.

In addition, I’ve added a link to two of Elizabeth Freemantle’s novels. Queen’s Gambit, a novel about Katherine Parr. I found this book far superior to The Last Wife of Henry VIII, so I put Freemantle’s novel first. Once you’ve read that you can decide whether you’d like to read others. In fact, I loved Queen’s Gambit so much that I’m hesitant to read Philippa Gregory’s latest, The Taming of the Queen. I always give in when it comes to Gregory, so I’ll probably read and review it over the next few months. Since that book is about Katherine Parr, I’ve added it to the Tudor Novels section. I’ve yet to review it, but Sisters of Treason is about the surviving sisters of Lady Jane Grey. This novel is interesting as it delves deeper into the role faith played in those chaotic years following Lady Jane Grey’s death.

Thanks again for all of the kind notes and messages as you journey along Plantagenet and Tudor history through modern historical fiction. I enjoy sharing this adventure with you.

Update 8/13/2013: Since the publication of The White Princess, there have been many questions about where Philippa’s latest novel fits into the chronological reading order. I haven’t yet read The White Princess, but I would place it before The Tudor Rose. It is possible that those two are interchangeable in order. Also, one of my readers pointed out that she believes that The Red Queen should be read before The White Queen because Margaret Beaufort’s story begins earlier in time than Elizabeth Woodville. It personally didn’t bother me to read them in the order in which they were published, but I can’t disagree with Mary’s assessment, so I’ve changed the order in which those two books are listed here. Finally, I’ve added The Crown, a book that I just finished reading. Although Henry VIII and his court do not feature prominently in the story, it was an interesting book about life as a faithful Catholic around the time of Prince Edward’s birth.

Update 2/7/2013: I have updated the list to include The Lady of the Rivers, The Kingmaker’s Daughter, and Bring Up the Bodies. I have also rearranged the order of Hilary Mantel’s novels.

Update 10/14/2010: I originally wrote this post because I had some difficulty putting Philippa Gregory’s Tudor books together in chronological order.  At the time, I was new to my love of all things Tudor and didn’t have any real knowledge of the family’s history on my own.  By far, this is my most popular post and I’m happy to have provided others with this information.

Since it’s initial publication, Gregory has started writing a series on the Plantagenets, who predate the Tudors. Others have also asked how her other works of historical fiction might fit in with this history.  I decided it was high time to revamp this post.  I hope that this proves to be even more helpful to you.

~ Jennifer


Philippa Gregory’s Tudor Novels

I thought that it might be helpful to list the books Philippa Gregory has written around the history of Henry VIII and his immediate descendants in chronological order for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of reading them for yourself.

1. The Constant Princess
2. The Other Boleyn Girl
3. The Boleyn Inheritance
4. The Taming of the Queen
5. The Queen’s Fool
6. The Virgin’s Lover
7. The Other Queen

Filling In the Gaps

Philippa’s books do not cover everything or everyone. After reading The Boleyn Inheritance, I wanted to know more about Henry’s last wife. I found The Last Wife of Henry VIII, which answered my questions and was a great read. Around that time, Alison Weir‘s first “go-round” in fiction came out, entitled Innocent Traitor . It tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, otherwise known as the Nine Day’s Queen. I would suggest reading this book after The Last Wife of Henry VIII and The Lady Elizabeth before The Queen’s Fool.  I just finished up another Tudor novel called The Virgin’s Daughters by Jeane Westin that covers the early portion of Elizabeth I’s reign as well as the very end.  It tells the story of two of her ladies-in-waiting and their lives at court.  It would be a great book to read along with The Virgin’s Lover and The Other Queen.

I have also read Portrait of an Unknown Woman, which is about an adopted daughter of Sir Thomas More. This book is no where near as directly related to Henry VIII as the others. What it does, however, is give the reader the feeling of living in Tudor England at the time of Henry’s affair with and marriage to Anne Boleyn. It’s very interesting to read a book where Henry is rearing his head in the book indirectly.  Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (although it requires much more concentration and a greater reading  commitment) would be an interesting be an interesting counterpart to this novel as it tells the story of Thomas Cromwell in such a way that I actually liked him.

The Plantagenet Years

Thus far, Philippa Gregory has published four of perhaps five novels about the Plantagenets, making it pretty easy to place these in chronological order.  I have not yet read anything else (that I can recall anyway) about this time period.  As and when I do, I’ll fill in the Plantagenet blanks as well.  I do know that most everyone raves about the works of Sharon Kay Penman. Susan Higginbotham published a novel about Kate Woodville this year entitled The Stolen Crown that I have on my shelves calling out to me.  She  is also coming out with a novel about Margaret of Anjou in January of 2011.

Gregory’s first two novels about the War of the Roses really take place around the same time in history.  The White Queen is about Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of Edward IV.  The Red Queen is about Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII and grandmother of Henry VIII. Although I don’t believe there is any “best” order in which to read these books, I would suggest reading them in the order in which they were published – White and then Red. The reason I say this is because there are things that occur in The White Queen that are referred to by Margaret Beaufort.  I enjoyed picking up on those cross references that way. I don’t believe there would be as many if the books were read in the opposite order. The Lady of the Rivers preceeds The White Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter should be read after the White and Red Queen novels.

Suggested Reading Order

So, using the books I’ve read to fill in the gaps, my suggested order for reading Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series with other Tudor-related and pre-Tudor fiction would look something like this (if not mentioned above, I’ve included a link to my review for more information):

I would like to thank everyone who has visited this page and has left such nice comments about how they are enjoying this reading list.

1. The Lady of the Rivers
2. The Red Queen
3. The White Queen
4. The Kingmaker’s Daughter
5. The White Princess
6. The Tudor Rose
7. The Constant Princess
8. The King’s Curse
9. Wolf Hall
10. The Other Boleyn Girl
11. Bring Up the Bodies
12. Portrait of an Unknown Woman
13. The Wise Woman ~ I’ve not read this yet, but based on my research, I would place it in this order.
14. The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau
15. The Boleyn Inheritance
16. My Lady of Cleves
17. Queen’s Gambit
18. The Taming of the Queen
19. The Last Wife of Henry VIII
20. The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
21. Her Mother’s Daughter
22. The Lady Elizabeth
23. Innocent Traitor
24. Sisters of Treason
25. The Queen’s Fool
26. The Virgin’s Lover
27. The Virgin’s Daughters
28. The Other Queen


  • At 2014.02.07 12:34, tboz17586 said:

    Love the blog! Thank you so much for the reading list too, I’m currently reading the Tudor series By P. Gregory and so thoroughly enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl that I was wondering if anyone knows of any more Historical Novels about her life or time in the Tudor Court? I have a good few fiction/non books piling up but from diff eras etc but I’d love a bit more of Anne :) I am an avid fan of Mary Queen of Scots and would love some historical fiction on her too as I have read most of the non fiction on her. Thanks guys :)

    • At 2014.02.07 15:56, janine starch said:

      thank you for this! I have always hovered around the tudor era with various novels…and for some reason, i DID indeed read “the other boleyn girl” several years ago, but found it not quite up to my high literature standard! (goodness, how snobby does that sound?) One of my favourite novels of all time (and i devour books) would be Hilary Mantel’s “wolf hall” and “bring up the bodies”. She writes from a perspective not normally taken (that I know of) through thomas cromwell, with such intelligence and wit, soooo brilliant! I am now absolutely ADORING Philipa’s novels, and have gotten through the first six….I now fully appreciate the way she captures the mood of the time through feminine eyes. LOVELOVELOVE!

      • At 2014.02.21 12:32, Brunella Brunet said:

        I too loved your blog. I love reading these novels and from reading the comments section I have found other books to read.

        • At 2014.03.12 13:20, Kat said:

          OMG I LOVE the first book and I am chomping at the bit to read the rest! A little history, a little fantasy, a little love and a little war!

          • At 2014.03.30 03:54, Marian said:


            thanks so much for putting these books in reading order. Makes it a lot easier. I have just finished reading the Cousins’War Series, marvelous!

            • At 2014.03.31 10:38, Gloria said:

              I have read most of the books discussed here just got the W hits Princess to read .
              I started read her way back with the Wild Child been a fan ever since

              • At 2014.04.11 14:50, lynn said:

                In your larger list why are some titles in red?? Thanks

                • At 2014.04.21 11:51, Kelly Randell said:

                  Red highlights, when clicked (or double clicked) lead you to one of Jennifer’s posts about that particular book, with a more detailed review of it :)

                • At 2014.04.21 11:52, Kelly Randell said:

                  Love this blog Jennifer, and the Philippa Gregory list was very helpful!

                  • At 2014.04.23 14:30, Tammie said:

                    I am confused – Portait of an Unknown Woman is not written by Philippa Gregory.

                    • At 2015.09.26 22:04, Hev said:

                      The author of this page placed books in the reading list that were written by other authors, as a way for us readers to “fill in the gaps” between Philippa Gregory’s novels. Some of these books are written by other authors, so we can glimpse and idea of what happened between Philippa’s novels.

                    • At 2014.04.28 16:19, Stephen Peszel said:

                      Are there no men subscribing to this forum?
                      Nothing about these books attracted me to her writings.
                      I have no idea why I read the first one.
                      Now I have read most of them and so glad that I did.
                      An easy style to read but I did have to keep referring to the Wiki-chronology to remember where in time I was and which Edward, Richard, Anne, or Elizabeth I was reading about.
                      This chronology is a big help.
                      Currently reading Katherine.

                      • At 2014.05.26 23:00, MarvelGirl81 said:

                        What did you think of Katherine? It is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE novels! :)

                      • At 2014.04.29 18:26, anita said:

                        Love this list, will help me very much.

                        • At 2014.05.04 18:36, L Kat said:

                          THANK YOU for your lists! I have many of Ms. Gregory’s books on my Nook but have been reading them out of order :(
                          Starting again, with the help of your list, and will enjoy them even more!

                          • At 2014.05.11 09:34, Shelley said:

                            My first book about this period was the Autobiography of Henery VIII by Margaret George that I found in a used bookstore. It is a fabulous book of fiction written as though it was an autobiographical novel. My interest peaked, I read another of George’s books called Mary, Queen of Scots. It was so very rich that I first fell in love with Mary. (I have seen no reference to George’s novels here and perhaps it is because none of her few following novels lived up to the excellence of these two.) I followed by reading Antonina Fraser’s Mary, Queen of Scots, a fabulous non-fiction account of Mary. (My view of Mary has changed over the years from romantic heroine to a woman lead entirely by emotion. She fell from her pedestal as I discovered more and more about this tragic flaw in her, especially when compared to a growing knowledge of the intelligence of Elizabeth.) Then came many other non-fictions before I found my way to the novels of Jean Plaidy, who though her books are fiction could almost be read as fact they are so well researched.
                            As I have read through the years, non-fiction and fiction alike, I have fleshed out the characters of these times into full personages in my mind and I always love to see a writer’s take on their personalities. Some may say enough has been written about these individuals, but there can never be enough to learn about the princes and princesses, and kings and queens, whose lives I escape to in my reading.

                            • At 2014.05.11 15:20, SB said:

                              Thank you for publishing this list with the additional books to fill in the spaces. I’m glad I stumbled upon it!

                              • At 2014.05.25 12:56, Sarah said:

                                Hello – thank you so much for publishing this list. I have almost finished The Constant Princess and am planning to read Wolf Hall next. I just saw that Philippa Gregory has a new book coming in Sept, The King’s Curse. Where would you put that in order? Probably before Wolf Hall, correct? I won’t wait to read Wolf Hall until Sept though! Thanks!

                                • At 2014.05.26 22:57, MarvelGirl81 said:

                                  If you would like to read an EXCELENT book about the early Plantagnets I would suggest “Katherine” by Ana Seyton. It takes place in the Thirteenth or Fourteenth Century (apologies, I haven’t read it in a few months) It revolves around Katherine Swinford and her decades long love affair with John of Gaunt. This is one of the great love stories in English history,, but it also shows just how harsh life in this time period was. She is the Grandmother of Margret Beaufort and it is through Katherine that the Tudor Line got it’s red hair. :)

                                  • At 2015.03.20 12:50, edarlingb said:

                                    Oooh; have only recently acquired Seaton’s ‘Katherine’, by chance. Feel so smug!!!

                                  • At 2014.05.27 11:36, Stephen Peszel said:

                                    I concur, the Katherine book is an excellent read and filled in many gaps in my knowledge. I felt that I knew her after reading this.

                                    • At 2014.06.18 15:07, Rachel said:

                                      based on the list that was provided in the blog above where would Katherine be read?

                                      • At 2014.06.18 16:03, Jennifer said:

                                        Katherine would fall before all of the other books in this list.

                                    • At 2014.06.18 14:54, Rachel said:

                                      Is this list still up to date as of today? Thank you so much for this chronological breakdown, I am so excited to get started!!!!

                                      • At 2014.06.18 16:04, Jennifer said:

                                        I will have to take a look at it, but I’ve not read too much from the Tudor time period recently, so it’s still good. I hope you enjoy it!

                                      • At 2014.06.18 15:00, Rachel said:

                                        Where would “The King’s Curse” fall into this list?

                                        • At 2014.06.18 16:07, Jennifer said:

                                          That book overlaps with The Constant Princess, but it told from Margaret Pole. I haven’t read The King’s Curse yet, but I my gut reaction would be to read The Constant Princess first.

                                          • At 2015.06.21 22:20, Terry B said:

                                            i am just starting The King’s Curse. I am reading it just after The White Princess. It is Elizabeth’s sister Margaret Pole’s version of events. It picks up right after her brother and the boy pretender (Miising Richard York) have been killed by Henry VIi.

                                        • At 2014.06.19 13:43, Judith McCullough said:

                                          PLEASE LET US KNOW IF IT EVER IS UPDATED. I’VE READ EVERYTHING LISTED.


                                          • At 2014.08.14 01:52, Tania Shalders said:

                                            Please do not forget the massive amount of books on these historical figures that were written by Jean Plaidy. She has covered the whole royal historical line. If you read them in conjunction with all the books listed above, many of the gaps in either will be filled. Enjoy

                                            • At 2014.08.15 09:45, Judith McCullough said:

                                              I wish you’d arrange the latest post first, so we didn’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom! But enjoy your site.

                                              • At 2014.08.24 06:16, BlueMoon said:

                                                I read two books in the Tudor saga by Philippa Gregory (they were excellent!) and I would like to read all the books you spoke about in this article!
                                                Good readings!

                                                Read more from BlueMoon

                                                Corinne ou l’Italie de Madame de Staël

                                                Genre : Classique Editeur : Folio (Classique) Année de sortie : 2014 Nombre de pages : 587 Synopsis : Un roman cosmopolite et européen qui évoque la France, l’Angleterre et l’Italie à […]

                                                • […] P.S. If you are interested in reading the novels in chronological order (of events not publication), I found this great list that shows the order: http://literatehousewife.com/2007/08/philippa-gregory-in-chronological-order/ […]

                                                  • At 2014.11.20 13:08, Braegan A. said:

                                                    Where would you place her newest novel The King’s Curse?

                                                    • At 2014.12.06 08:29, Alice said:

                                                      First of all, I agree with a previous post that asked for comments to be arranged in most recent order first. I originally thought this was an old blog when I saw 2010 at top. Other than that I am excited to have found your blog for many reasons, most importantly to get the chronological order of books. I am fairly new to this period, and while interested in history, I am also rather ignorant. As a lover of reading, I have found historical fiction is a great way to learn more and it actually holds my interest. I am concerned, however, about the accuracy. Obviously, being fiction, I realize liberty is taken with dialogue and some characters, but how much can I depend on significant events? Thanks so much for this blog!

                                                    • At 2014.12.31 07:02, Books I Read 2014 | Doxophilia said:

                                                      […] only one that makes sense to me when it comes to historical novels. You can find the list here: Philippa Gregory in Chronological Order. I would officially begin Project Roses when I get around to write a proper review of the Lady of […]

                                                      • At 2015.01.03 07:32, Karelle Taylor said:

                                                        I recently read “The Tudor Bride” by Janna Hickson. It is the story of Catherine of Valois. I was particularly interested in a fictional point of view to her “marriage” to Owen Tudor, and the early life of her sons Edmund and Jasper. I quite enjoyed it and found it very interesting. I’d place it between “The Lady of the Rivers” and “The Red Queen”

                                                        • At 2015.01.31 14:12, mb said:

                                                          Thank you so much for the list! It was very helpful.
                                                          Phillippa Gregory also co-authored a middle grade/ young adult series with fictional characters set against an authentic, medieval background. The Order of Darkness Series starts with:
                                                          -Fools Gold
                                                          I highly recommend them to your young readers. They are solid clean fun. Start them early!

                                                          • […] And thus begin my Project Roses where I’m going to tackle an over hundred years of wars between cousins and brothers for the throne of England. My reading order is chronological, or as best as I can make it that way and the book list I follow can be found here. […]

                                                            • At 2015.02.25 16:23, Donna Blair said:

                                                              Thanks to all who posted suggestions – and I have had the “suggested reading order” since Feb 2013 and have been diligently ticking off the list. Now with the additional suggestions, I’m adding them to my list. What a magnificent way to learn history (wished it had been this interesting when I was in Grade 12). I agree with Jennifer about reading the Outlander series, I just finished it, and was so glad I read it before going to Scotland, I actually walked on the battlefield at Culloden. So my next adventure will be to all the places mentioned in the Gregory novels. Thanks to all for your suggestions

                                                              • At 2015.03.11 23:38, Dory Hixon said:

                                                                I’ve just finished reading — actually listening to — The Kings Curse by Phillippa Gregory. It was wonderfully written and the reader is perfect.. After all the years of history classes I sat through, I had never realized how awful a king Henry VIII was and was a despot he became.
                                                                Thank you for the listing of the books. I had googled Phillippa Gregory in order to find what other books she had written and came across your site.
                                                                I have read Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies and look forward to the BBC adaptation of it which is due to be shown on PBS very soon. It has rave revues in the UK. By the looks of things I have many hours of listening to do. I will never complain about my commute again – listening to these books makes driving a pleasure.
                                                                Thank you.

                                                                • At 2015.03.12 07:17, Robert Wilmot said:

                                                                  Please update Jennifer’s list with the brilliant novel, The King’s Curse, which is an inmportant link from the Plantagenets to the Tudors.
                                                                  Reading just a single chapter of this book conveys a sense of this tumultuous historic period far better than the whole of the recent BBC TV series, Wolf Hall.
                                                                  Phllippa Gregory’s extensive and thorough research is surpassed by her incredible gift of visualising life at the time and writing so lucidly and convincingly.

                                                                  • At 2015.03.23 17:36, phil hpughton said:

                                                                    I love historical fiction but had not ventured as far back as the Tudors confining myself mainly to authors like Sansom, Dickens and Simon Montefiore. I am now smittened by the likes of Gregory and Mantell. What wealth of information and intrigue there is in those books. I especially enjoyed the romance of Arthur and Catalina. Poor Arthur. Destined to be king but struck down by a deadly virus at such a tender age. Catalina survived to a grand old age (by Tudor times) but she was just a pawn between the Spanish and English royal families.Later on she became such a pivotal figure in one of the most historical events in English history – Henry’s attempt to annul his marriage and the subsequent break with Rome.Wow!????

                                                                  • At 2015.03.25 18:17, ariana storey said:

                                                                    Just finished reading The Boleyn Inheritance which I found in a salvation army shop. Intriguing. It makes
                                                                    me see how really unfortunate it was to be born as a woman of royal and courtly circles in those times,
                                                                    which were powered by greed avarice and ambition in which woman were born and sacrificed even as
                                                                    young girls to further the ambitions of ruthless individuals, conspiring men and women. My heart breaks
                                                                    for many of these women at the mercy of such Not a glamorous or loving world at all.
                                                                    Yes their world is fascinating but not a world I envy but rather I am all the more grateful to live at this time
                                                                    with the freedom to choose , for religious freedom for all that has been made available for our good use and not the privileged few. Thankyou to all those good noble and courageous men and women of those times who stood strong and sincere and for those poor victims of such dark oppression.
                                                                    Thankyou to Phillippa Gregory and all those other marvelous authors who use their talents to bring to
                                                                    light and reveal those individuals and their circumstances. We will all stand at the Judgement Bar of God oneday Great and Small He is the ultimate Judge and will the balancing and the weighing with
                                                                    justice mercy and kindness.

                                                                    • At 2015.04.11 10:23, Colleen said:

                                                                      I have not finished yet, but I love this. You should consider The Love Letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn. If is free on Amazon Kindle.

                                                                      • At 2015.06.28 11:38, Mads said:

                                                                        I really like your blog and the comments you’ve made on the books! I read them in this order-
                                                                        The Lady of the Rivers
                                                                        The White Queen
                                                                        The Kingmakers Daughter
                                                                        The Red Queen
                                                                        The Kings Curse

                                                                        I read them in this order because I think it follows the best chronological order, and helps me understand the overlaps!
                                                                        I’m beginning to read the Tudor court series now… Looking forward to it!

                                                                        • At 2015.07.24 16:46, Toni said:

                                                                          The Plantagenets and Tudors are fascinating! I found a book that is a bridge between “Katherine” and “Lady of the Rivers”. It is “My Lord John” by Georgette Heyer. It’s the story of John, Duke of Beford, the grandson of John of Gaunt and the first husband of Jacquetta of Luxembourg.

                                                                          Thanks for all the suggestions!

                                                                          • At 2015.08.02 06:44, James Harris said:

                                                                            Where would you imagine “The Taming of the Queen”, the forthcoming Gregory book best be placed in the above suggested list? After The Boleyn Inheritance?

                                                                            • At 2015.08.06 04:37, Colleen said:

                                                                              One needs to be added between The Tudor Rose and A Constant Princess. This is The Kingmaker’s Curse, the last book in the Cousin’s War Series. They are in similar places in history.

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