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The Red Queen: A Novel | [Philippa Gregory]

The Red Queen: A Novel

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Author Philippa Gregory, best-known for her historical novel The Other Boleyn Girl, turns her attention back two generations in The Red Queen, giving the spotlight to Margaret Beaufort, a devout Christian who dedicated her life to putting her son, Henry VII, on the throne. Narrator Bianca Amato takes Margaret from her girlhood as an aspiring nun through her lifelong obsession with regaining the English crown for the house of Lancaster with leisurely pacing and a steady tone. Meanwhile Graeme Malcolm, who takes on narration rights for a few chapters that take place on the battlefield, offers a straightforward look at the real, human toll of medieval power plays.

Margaret was the sole heir to the house of Lancaster, which waged a 30-year war — the War of the Roses — against the house of York for control of England. Married at 13 to Edmund Tudor, she had one son and spent the rest of her days praying that son would become king (and, certain that she was following the will of God, making calculated moves to get him there). While the book doesn’t have the romance and scandal that characterized the reign of Margaret’s grandson, Henry VIII, it offers a sweeping look at the complicated political moves of the day and the women who wielded more influence than history would give them credit for. Gregory’s Margaret is a committed mother, a devoted Lancastrian, and a passionate Catholic, and Amato performs her story with all the requisite emotions: pain at being taken from Henry; fury at the successes of the house of York; righteous, single-minded conviction of God’s will. Amato’s voice — soothing and gentle — makes Margaret’s ambition seem as innocent as a mother wanting her son to ace his math exam, and that makes the last-act reveal of the lengths she’ll go in the name of God and Lancaster that much more chilling. —Blythe Copeland

Publisher's Summary

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin, Henry VI, fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. But worst of all for Margaret is when she discovers that her mother is sending her to a loveless marriage in remote Wales.

Listen to An interview with Bianca Amato, narrator of The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory.

©2010 Philippa Gregory Limited. All rights reserved. (P)2010 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Nobody does the Tudors better than Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl), so it should come as no surprise that her latest—the War of the Roses as seen through the eyes of Henry VII's mother —is confident, colorful, convincing, and full of conflict, betrayal, and political maneuvering....[L]ike Margaret Beaufort, Gregory puts her many imitators to shame by dint of unequalled energy, focus, and unwavering execution." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (841 )
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4.0 (534 )
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4.3 (523 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sandy Bartu 08-13-10
    Sandy Bartu 08-13-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Terrible!"

    The central character was so whiny I could barely stand it. Not much depth to the story or the characters. Move on there are so many other wonderful books out there.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie- Chicago, IL, United States 08-26-13
    Julie- Chicago, IL, United States 08-26-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just as good as the first"

    I am glad i did not pay attention to some of the negative reviews that this book got. It was just as exciting as the first and I got a look at the story from a different point of view. I hated Lady Margret from beginning to end and I cant wait to find out what will become of her. Love this great series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sally Star Florida 04-25-13
    Sally Star Florida 04-25-13

    StarLite

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best of the series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely. The story was tight and the character was brilliant.


    What other book might you compare The Red Queen to and why?

    The White Queen, which is the story of Katherine Woodville, the other side of the cousin's war.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When it's pointed out to Margaret Beaufort that perhaps the reason that she is so close to God is because when she prays, God conveniently tells her to do whatever it is that she wanted to do in the first place.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Red Queen and why?

    Margaret Beaufort, the (pro?) tagonist.


    Any additional comments?

    What an unforgettable character! That the whole English speaking world was altered irrevocably by this force of nature is breathtaking. The ways that she convinces herself that she'd doing God's bidding is intriguing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Minor Indiana/USA 10-19-12
    P. Minor Indiana/USA 10-19-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dropped into a viper pit!"

    It was interesting to see the conflict from the viewpoint of both sides after also reading The White Queen. Margaret definitely comes across as a cold, cunning, conniving, self-absorbed woman. Reading about British royalty is rather like being thrown into a pit of vipers!!
    The story was well told and very well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darlene M. Formanek monroe, ME, United States 08-22-12
    Darlene M. Formanek monroe, ME, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2012

    I am really not in to romance.. I like historic writing the are fiction but follow closely to historic time lines.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty good read"
    Where does The Red Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 10


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    She was a wee bit insane.


    What about Bianca Amato’s performance did you like?

    calming voice


    Who was the most memorable character of The Red Queen and why?

    Her second husband. Poor man, she was pushy


    Any additional comments?

    I think the White Queen was a better story but without the Red Queen it would lose its Rival.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 04-16-12
    HIII 04-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Drama Queen"

    The second in the series and my first thought is these women were not Red or White Queens but drama queens. Both women focus on their plight in life never realizing they are better off than most of the women of their time. That is not to agree things were nasty and rough but the dwelling on their hardships bogs the story. The Red Queen is sure she is serving God, even when husband #3 comments,"it is interesting God always wants the same thing you want.' The White Queen is the mother of Henry Tutor so the outcome of the story is not the question. The backbiting process of achieveing the historical result is the story. This is not one of those books where a reader can eagerly read the last chapter. Another interesting twist is parts of this listen echo the events from The White Queen only from the other woman's point of view. Philippa Gregory has dovetailed these 2 books and at the same time each could stand alone. Great writing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 03-14-12
    Lauren 03-14-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "love gregory but..."
    What would have made The Red Queen better?

    i have read a lot her books and i usually love them but this character drove me crazy!! maybe that is the point...all i can say is that i only finished listening to it out of stubborness


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Arvada, CO, United States 11-15-10
    Beth Arvada, CO, United States 11-15-10 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Would rather listen to nails on a chalkboard"

    The narrator is beyond irritating. The book or rather the part I could suffer through was really bad. Granted I got through about the first hour and could take no more waspy, English accented talk of saints and praying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A kid's review 09-14-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Whine and Cheese"

    I am a big Philippa Gregory fan. However, Margarette Beauford's endless whining about her own faith, entitlement and destiny was just annoying. I only wish audible had a fast forward, so I could skip through the main character's boring drone and get to what was in fact, an interesting story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 09-10-10
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 09-10-10 Member Since 2009

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"

    After having read The Other Bolyn Girl, The White Queen and The Queen's Fool, I found this book disappointing and somewhat annoying. Following Margaret from one bad marriage to the next was quite unsatisfying. I felt this book was not up to Ms Gregory's standards.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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