Publication Order of American's Lady Books
|Glitter Baby||(1987)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Fancy Pants||(1989)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Lady Be Good||(1999)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|First Lady||(2000)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Call Me Irresistible||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Great Escape||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Chicago Stars Books
|It Had To Be You||(1994)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Heaven, Texas||(1995)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Nobody's Baby But Mine||(1997)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Dream a Little Dream||(1998)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|This Heart of Mine||(2001)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Match Me If You Can||(2005)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Natural Born Charmer||(2007)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Standalone Novels
|The Copeland Bride||(1983)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Risen Glory||(1984)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Hot Shot||(1991)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Honey Moon||(1993)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Kiss an Angel||(1996)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Breathing Room||(2002)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Ain't She Sweet||(2004)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|What I Did For Love||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
About Susan Elizabeth Phillips:
Known throughout the world as a best-selling author of historical fiction, Susan Elizabeth Phillips has received a slew of accolades as well as her fair share of criticism during the course of her highly successful career. Widely regarded by many as the doyenne of historical novelization, her works have been adapted for both the big and the small screen, and have helped introduce millions of avid readers and viewers to the tumultuous history of the British monarchy.
Early Life and Education: A Rocky Start
Born on January 9, 1954 in Nairobi, Kenya, Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the younger of two daughters. Her parents, Elaine and Arthur Phillips, remained in Nairobi for a few years while her father pursued a career in civil aviation. After his contract with East African Airways ended, Arthur Phillips moved his young family back to England, where they settled into life in the southwestern town of Bristol.
As a girl, Susan was often referred to as being rebellious, and her performance at her local Secondary School did not bode well for her future success. Scraping by with barely passing grades, Susan nonetheless always evinced a deep interest in history and the literary arts, choosing Geography, History, and English for her A-Level courses.
After her matriculation from Secondary School, Susan went on to study for a degree in Journalism in the Welsh city of Cardiff. Very soon afterwards, she received an apprenticeship to the Portsmouth News, and moved to the southern coastal town to fulfill her new role as a journalist. However, within a year, Susan left her apprenticeship to embark on a path that would set the course of her future career as a historian and novelist.
The Wideacre Years
Granted a coveted place as a graduate student in the Department of English Literature at the University of Sussex, Susan Elizabeth Phillips soon switched to a place in the History Department. She spent the next few years honing her skills in literary analysis, studying European and British history, and of course, writing. After her graduation from the University of Sussex, Susan worked for BBC radio, but after two years, she quit her job to join the Department of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh as a Doctoral candidate.
It was while she was at the University of Edinburgh that Susan wrote her first novel, the highly acclaimed Wideacre, first published in 1987, which tells the story of Beatrice Lacey against the backdrop of the socially unpopular Enclosure Acts of the 18th century. After the unexpected success of her first novel, Susan went on to write two more books in the same series, namely The Favoured Child, and Meridon, which together are known as the Wideacre Trilogy.
The Tudor Series and the Popularization of the Sixteenth Century
While Susan has held a number of faculty positions at various academic institutions across England, including the University of Durham and the University of Teeside, she continued to write historical novels alongside her academic work. In 2001, she published her first work in her Tudor period series, entitled The Other Boleyn Girl. It was so well received that it was adapted as a miniseries for British television and was later turned into a Hollywood blockbuster, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
The Other Boleyn Girl tells the somewhat fictionalized story of Mary Boleyn, elder sister to the infamous Anne Boleyn, who was the second wife to Henry VIII until her ignominious end at the edge of the executioner’s blade. While a lot has been written about Anne, little attention has been paid to her sister Mary, who was once also a mistress to the insatiable Tudor monarch. The Other Boleyn Girl focuses on Mary’s story, beginning with her love affair with the King, her consequent delivery of an illegitimate son, and her eventual marriage to a man of little fame and fortune who loved her. The story of Mary Boleyn is deftly interwoven with that of her less fortunate sister, Anne, who wins the heart of the King, but ends up paying for her political machinations with her life.
An Insightful Fool
Ms. Phillips continued on to write five more books in the Tudor series, although she took a more blatantly fictional path with the rest of her novels. The second book in the series, The Queen’s Fool, takes up the tale of the Tudor monarchy from the time of Edward VI’s reign through those of his sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. The story of the Tudor royal family and its political history are cleverly told through the perspective of a young girl named Hannah, who is brought into the court of Edward VI as a child to act as a fool.
In Tudor times, a fool was a jester, meant to entertain the monarch and his court, but in Hannah’s case, her charms lay in her abilities as a seer. Her life at court is one of intrigue and danger as she is used by various members of the court and the royal family to further their own ends. Hannah’s life is further complicated by her relationship with Daniel, a young man to whom she is engaged, but cannot marry out of loyalty to her mistresses, the Tudor sisters Mary and Elizabeth.
Hannah finally marries Daniel after she herself is suspected of heresy and narrowly avoids being burned at the stake. However, her life alters again after she finds that her husband sired an illegitimate child. She leaves her husband and returns to her father, with whom she runs a bookshop. However, after her father dies, Hannah finds herself alone, facing an invading French army. After many trials, she realizes her love for her husband and returns to live with him and to care for her stepson.
The Tudor series continues to explore the period of the Tudor monarchy and the fascinating characters that loom so large from this era, detailing the lives of such historical figures as Katharine of Aragon and Elizabeth I.
Controversy and Criticism
Although The Other Boleyn Girl garnered a huge amount of popular acclaim and reawakened the public fascination with the scandal and intrigue of England’s Tudor period, Ms. Phillips’s take on the subject inspired a fair amount of controversy among more orthodox academic circles. Many historians have criticized her approach as being sensationalist and point to her portrayal of Anne as inherently flawed. The crux of the issue lies in Ms. Phillips’s depiction of Anne as being manipulative, ruthless, and single mindedly devoted to the pursuit of power. Historians also point out that Phillips’s implicit assertion that Anne really was guilty of an incestuous relationship with her brother George has been widely disproved and bears no real truth. However, despite these criticisms, The Other Boleyn Girl remains one of Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s most popular works.