Philippa Gregory at the 2011 Texas Book Festival.
9 January 1954
|Pen name||Philippa Gregory|
|Genres||Historical fiction, romance, fantasy|
|Notable award(s)||RoNA Award|
|Spouse(s)||1. Peter Chislett (divorced),
2. Paul Carter (divorced),
3. Anthony Mason
Philippa Gregory (b. 9 January 1954 in Nairobi, Kenya) is a British writer of historical novels since 1987, the best known of which is The Other Boleyn Girl (2001), that in 2002 won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.
Early life and academic career 
Philippa Gregory was born on 9 January 1954 in Nairobi, Kenya, the second daughter of Elaine (Wedd) and Arthur Percy Gregory, a radio operator and navigator for East African Airways. When she was two years old, her family moved to England.
She was a "rebel" at school, but managed to attend the University of Sussex. She worked in BBC radio for two years before attending the University of Edinburgh, where she earned her doctorate in 18th-century literature. Gregory has taught at the University of Durham, University of Teesside, and the Open University, and was made a Fellow of Kingston University in 1994.
Private life 
Gregory wrote her first novel Wideacre while completing a PhD in 18th-century literature  and living in a cottage on the Pennine Way with first husband Peter Chislett, editor of the Hartlepool Mail, and their baby daughter, Victoria. They divorced before the book was published.
Following the success of Wideacre and the publication of The Favoured Child, she moved south to near Midhurst, West Sussex, where the Wideacre trilogy was set. Here she married her second husband Paul Carter, with whom she has a son. She divorced for a second time and married Anthony Mason, whom she had first met during her time in Hartlepool.
Philippa Gregory now lives on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) farm in the North York Moors national park, with her husband, children and stepchildren (six in all). Her interests include riding, walking, skiing, and gardening.
She has written novels set in several different historical periods, though primarily the Tudor period and the 16th century. Reading a number of novels set in the 17th century led her to write the bestselling Lacey trilogy — Wideacre, which is a story about the love of land and incest, The Favoured Child and Meridon. This was followed by The Wise Woman. A Respectable Trade, a novel of the slave trade in England, set in 18th-century Bristol, was adapted by Gregory for a four-part drama series for BBC television. Gregory's script was nominated for a BAFTA, won an award from the Committee for Racial Equality, and the film was shown worldwide.
Two novels about a gardening family are set during the English Civil War: Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, while she has in addition written contemporary fiction - Perfectly Correct, Mrs Hartley And The Growth Centre, The Little House and Zelda's Cut. She has also written for children.
Some of her novels have won awards and have been adapted into television dramas. The most successful of her novels has been The Other Boleyn Girl, published in 2002 and adapted for BBC television in 2003 with Natascha McElhone, Jodhi May and Jared Harris. In the year of its publication, The Other Boleyn Girl also won the Romantic Novel of the Year and it has subsequently spawned sequels — The Queen's Fool, The Virgin's Lover, The Constant Princess, The Boleyn Inheritance, and The Other Queen. Miramax bought the film rights to The Other Boleyn Girl and produced a film of the same name starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn and co-starring Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, Eric Bana as Henry Tudor, Juno Temple as Jane Parker, and Kristin Scott Thomas as Elizabeth Boleyn. It was filmed in England and generally released in February 2008.
Gregory has also published a series of books about the Plantagenets, the ruling houses that preceded the Tudors, and the Cousin’s War. Her first book The White Queen, published in 2009, centers on the life of Elizabeth Woodville the wife of Edward IV. The Red Queen, published in 2010, is about Margaret Beaufort the mother of Henry VII and grandmother to Henry VIII. The Lady of the Rivers, published 2011, is the life of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, mother of Elizabeth Woodville, first married to John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, younger brother of Henry the Fifth. The Kingmaker's Daughter, published in 2012, is about Anne Neville, the daughter of the Earl of Warwick, the wife of Richard III. The next book is titled The White Princess, and centers on the life of Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII and the mother of Henry VIII.
Some of Gregory's writing has faced controversy due to lack of historical accuracy, particularly those set in the Tudor Age. Critical reviewers have stated that they would not have minded so much had she not claimed complete accuracy. In her novel The Other Boleyn Girl, her portrayal of Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn, by feminist scholars as an icon, drew criticism. The novel depicts Anne as cold and ruthless, as well as heavily implying that the accusations that she committed adultery and incest with her brother were true, despite it being widely accepted that she was innocent of the charges.
She is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers, with short stories, features and reviews. She is also a frequent broadcaster and a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. She won the 29 December 2008 edition of Celebrity Mastermind on BBC1, taking Elizabeth Woodville as her specialist subject.
Charity work 
Philippa Gregory also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia. Gardens for The Gambia was established in 1993 when Philippa Gregory was in The Gambia, researching for her book "A Respectable Trade".
Since then the charity has dug almost 200 low technology, low budget and therefore easily maintained wells, which are on-stream and providing water to irrigate school and community gardens to provide meals for the poorest children and harvest a cash crop to buy school equipment, seeds and tools.
In addition to wells, the charity has piloted a successful bee-keeping scheme, funded feeding programmes and educational workshops in Batik and Pottery and is working with some larger donors to install mechanical boreholes in some remote areas of the country where the water table is not accessible by digging alone.
Wideacre trilogy 
- Wideacre (1987)
- The Favoured Child (1989)
- Meridon (1990)
Earthly Joys 
- Earthly Joys (1998)
- Virgin Earth (1999)
The Tudor series 
- The Other Boleyn Girl (2001)
- The Queen's Fool (2003)
- The Virgin's Lover (2004)
- The Constant Princess (2005)
- The Boleyn Inheritance (2006)
- The Other Queen (2008)
On her website, Gregory says she does not write her Tudor series books in order. Read chronologically:
- The Constant Princess (Katherine of Aragon)
- The Other Boleyn Girl (Mary and Anne Boleyn)
- 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)
- The Boleyn Inheritance (Jane Boleyn, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard)
- 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 Virgin’s Lover (Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley and Amy Robsart)
- The Other Queen (Mary, Queen of Scots, George Talbot and Bess of Hardwick)
The Cousins' War 
- The White Queen (2009) - The story of Elizabeth Woodville, the queen consort of King Edward IV of England and mother of the Princes in the Tower.
- The Red Queen (2010) - The story of Lady Margaret Beaufort and her quest to place her son Henry Tudor on the English throne.
- The Lady of the Rivers (2011) - The story of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, the mother of Elizabeth Woodville.
- The Kingmaker's Daughter (2012) - The story of Anne Neville, daughter of Warwick "the Kingmaker" and wife of Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, and later of Richard III of England, and of Anne's elder sister Isabel Neville, wife of George Duke of Clarence
- The White Princess (TBA) - The story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV. Wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII of England.
(Also, The Last Rose (TBA) - Protagonist unknown; possibly Mary I or Margaret, Queen of Scotland)
Currently, the chronological order that these books should be read in is 1) The Lady of the Rivers 2) The White Queen 3) The Red Queen 4) The Kingmaker's Daughters 5)The White Princess (not yet released); where The Last Rose fits on this list is currently unknown.
Non-series works 
- A Respectable Trade (1992)
- The Wise Woman (1992)
- Fallen Skies (1994)
- The Little House (1998)
- Zelda's Cut (2001)
- Perfectly Correct (1992)
- Mrs. Hartley and the Growth Centre (1992) (This book was later republished with the new title "Alice Hartley's Happiness")
Short stories 
- Bread and Chocolate (2002)
Children's works 
- A Pirate Story
- Diggory and the Boa Conductor
- The Little Pet Dragon
- Princess Florizella
- Princess Florizella and the Giant
- Princess Florizella and the Wolves
- Awards by the Romantic Novelists' Association, 2012-10-13
- Jennifer Curry (2007), World Authors, 2000-2005, H.W. Wilson, p. 800
- The Guardian
- Lindsey, Karen (1995), Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: a feminist reinterpretation...
- Ives, E. W. (2004) The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn
- Chrisafis, Angelique (30 April 2003). "Thieves breach Boleyn castle defences". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Ives, E. W. (2004) The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn ISBN 1-4051-3463-1
- Gardens for The Gambia, Registered Charity no. 1117507 at the Charity Commission