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Cousins’ War Books In Order

Publication Order of Cousins' War Books

The White Queen (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Red Queen (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lady of the Rivers (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Kingmaker's Daughter (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The White Princess (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The King's Curse (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Women of the Cousins' War: The Duchess, the Queen, and the King's Mother (2011) Description  Book  eBook


The Cousins’ War is a historical novel series by British novelist Philippa Gregory. Author Gregory has been active as a writer since the year 1987. Her best known work is probably The Other Boleyn Girl in the Tudor Series, which won her the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s prestigious Romantic Novel of the Year Award in the year 2002. In the year 2008, a movie of the same title, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson was released.

Gregory’s academic journey has been full of twists and turns. She had some rebel years at Colston’s Girls’ School from which she completed her A-levels with two shockingly low grades in History. She then joined one of Cardiff’s journalism school and did a one-year apprenticeship working at the Portsmouth News. She later joined a degree in literature course from the Sussex University and subsequently changed her mind and enrolled in a history course with the same institution. She has worked for BBC radio for a period of two years before enrolling in a doctorate course in 18th century literature at the University of Edinburgh. She later held teaching positions at various universities namely Durham, Teesside & the Open University. In 1994, she was made Fellow of Kingston University.

Gregory’s first novel, Wideacre was written while she was completing her doctorate majoring in 18th-century literature. Wideacre was published in 1987 and the success of this first novel paved the way for the Wideacre trilogy. Already, with the Wideacre trilogy, Gregory conveys her love and influence of the 18th-century literature. Indeed, the plot of Wideacre is set in the Eighteenth Century during the time of the enclosure acts. Gregory then went on to publish the Earthly Joys novels and the Tudor series which consists of six novels, including her largely acclaimed The Other Boleyn Girl.

Gregory’s first published novel in the Cousins’ War Series is The White Queen, which came out in 2009. Novels in the Cousins’ War Series are set in War of the Roses period which lasted between 1455 and 1487. The War of the Roses were a series of dynastic wars, divided into several sporadic episodes, in attempts to win over the throne of England. The main houses involved in this war were the royal House of Plantagenet, the houses of Lancaster and York.

The White Queen, is the first of the Cousins’ War series and it narrates the journey of Elizabeth Woodville who was the wife of King Edward IV of England & who gave birth to Edward V and Elizabeth of York. Elizabeth of York married Henry VII and gave birth to Henry VIII of England. The fifth installment of the Cousins’ War Series, The White Princess, focuses on the Elizabeth of York’s story. In summer 2013, the BBC had broadcast an adaptation of The White Queen in which Elizabeth Woodville is portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson. The novel was also interpreted into a TV mini-series by BBC, called The White Queen. The TV series consisted of 10 episodes and was aired in 2013.

In 2010, Gregory published the second novel in the series with The Red Queen. This time, the principal character is Lady Margaret Beaufort. In The Red Queen, Gregory narrates Lady Margaret Beaufort’s quest as she strives to see her son, Henry Tudor, win the much coveted English throne.

Throughout the Cousins’ War Series, Gregory tells the story of other major actors of the War of the Roses. The Lady of the Rivers, which was published in 2011, she narrates the narrative of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Elizabeth Woodville;s mother, who was the focus of The White Queen. In The Kingmaker’s Daughter readers are told the stories of Anne Neville who was the daughter of Warwick “the Kingmaker” and that of her older sister Isabel Neville. Anne Neville first married Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales and later on, Richard III of England. Isabel Neville was the Wife of George Duke of Clarence.

The sixth novel of the series, The King’s Curse, previously known as The Last Rose, published in 2014, is the final novel of the Cousins’ War Series. The King’s Curse recounts the journey of Margaret Pole who was the countess of Salisbury &also the Isabel Nevill’s daughter. She was a Plantagenet princess and was executed by drowning in a vat of wine.

The King’s Curse is set in the period between 1499 and 1541, the same period when Katherine of Aragon came to England. In this book, Margaret Pole is conflicted as she has a choice to make between her allegiance to a tyrannical king or to a beloved queen, Queen Katherine.She is caught between the old world and new as she decides between sacrificing the religion she had lived for or the theology which serves the new masters.

The King’s Curse is one of the novels of the Cousins’ War series that entwines the most closely with the Tudor Series since many aspects of the Tudor period are covered. Indeed, we are narrated with the downfall of the Church and the subsequent rise of Henry VIII as the Head of the Church of England. We are also brought into Henry VIII’s gradual descent into madness over his trust issues after he comes to know about the curse on his family pertaining to not having male heirs. Margaret Pole is the link between Henry VIII and his wives’ and daughters’ stories. As a part of the Plantagenet family who had cursed the Tudors, as Arthur Tudor’s Chamberlain and as a cousin to Henry Tudor’s mother and subsequently as lady in waiting to Katherine of Aragon and Governess to Princess Mary, Margaret Pole was the one sole character to focus on to allow the plot to develop.

The King’s Curse is in this sense, a fitting conclusion to the Cousins’ War series and rightly links the Yorks and the Tudors together. The novel is an excellent insight into the life of a powerful woman who held an influence within the Tudor Court and who was well respected. Margaret Pole gained power in her own right and this novel follows her as she strives to pull her family out of poverty in which the Tudors had initially put them. Once again, this is a well researched and constructed piece by Philippa Gregory.

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