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Publisher's Summary

The second book in Philippa's stunning new trilogy, The Cousins War, brings to life the story of Margaret Beaufort, a shadowy and mysterious character in the first book of the series - The White Queen - but who now takes centre stage in the bitter struggle of The War of the Roses.

The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III and ultimately ensure that her only son, Henry Tudor, triumphs as King of England. Through collaboration with the dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret agrees a betrothal between Henry and Elizabeth's daughter, thereby uniting the families and resolving the Cousins War once and for all by founding of the Tudor dynasty.

©2010 Philippa Gregory (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The Red Queen

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Excellent

This is an excellent story - I have ready others around the lead character Margaret Beaufort - but this one really highlights what an self righteous, social climber she was - parts of the story almost made me laugh at her narcissistic responses to things and her being a self proclaimed Martyr.
What an awful human she was.

1 person found this helpful

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Pretty good

It was pretty good, engaging and easy to listen to. If you want to switch off and not have to think too much to understand what's going on then this is good. I enjoyed the story telling more than the story

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a must listen to

took a bit of getting into but true to form gregory delivers again. well worth it

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Heroine is irritating but compelling

I read other reviews of this and I have to agree the heroine is soooo pious that you slightly want to slap her. The story was great though and an enjoyable listen, I would definitely listen again.

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Margaret Beaufort is fascinating

This was my second time reading this (but my first as an audiobook). I love this book because the telling of this story in this way is the only way that Margaret Beaufort's life events make sense. She has to have been exactly as the author portrays her. I don't like her character but that makes it even better.
The narration was very good, also.

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  • marina
  • 17-08-2018

very interesting

the series makes you think about how people lived in the past
i didn't like the main character this time and i don't agree whit the writer about what happened but it's interesting to read her opinion

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  • E.M. Biggs
  • 21-04-2017

Good narration but dreadful accents

The book was the usual absorbing Philippa Gregory historical 'faction', and on the whole was excellently narrated but the lead narrator's attempt at a Welsh accent sounded comically Indian and her child Henry's voice was annoyingly squeaky. It was a horrible note in an absorbing story and if narrators cannot create and sustain a plausible accent, they should just use their own voice. Especially when they have a pleasant one, as this narrator does.

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  • Hazel
  • 06-04-2012

Another fab book from Philippa Gregory!

What did you love best about The Red Queen?

For Gregory fans, this was a new departure: a less loveable main character and a harder historical period to relate to. I enjoyed getting a new perspective on an era that, as a History teacher, I still find confusing. The author really brings to life the difficult position women were in at that time and the amazing strength the Red Queen had, in order to achieve what she did.

Would you recommend The Red Queen to your friends? Why or why not?

Would definitely recommend to friends - well written and read, exciting, interesting and truly amazing, knowing that most of it actually happened.

Which scene was your favorite?

In the early parts of the book, the true horror of what her marriage as a child-bride to a much older man must have been like are amazingly effective and haunt you for the rest of the book. Not exactly a favourite scene but a memorable few chapters that make you glad to be living in the 21st century!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstine
  • 04-02-2012

A wicked woman wins!

Unusually the "heroine" of the story is obnoxious: self-righteous, full of pride and scheming, all the time believing that God is on her side and that she has been chosen for great things. But it's a crackingly good story even when one knows how it will finally end. I thought the book got better and better as the pace of history quickened. I don't know how accurate some of the details are regarding Richard Third's culpability over the presumed murders of the Prices in the Tower. I don't think anybody is sure, but this book gives a plausible alternative to Shakepeare's version the latter coloured by a Tudor queen being on the throne.
The female reader does a great job of dramatizing the narrative by her ability to create different voices for the characters.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 05-02-2012

Fiction based on history

Brilliant, thoroughly enjoyed it. I love fiction based on an actual historical character. It doesnt have to be factually accurate for me. Besides, we can only see what life was like then by the documents that survive and the only ones writing then were the upper classes, from both sides. I fully appreciate Philippa Gregorys imagination for adding a story to go with the facts.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 12-08-2011

Good

It's not often that one reads (listens to) a book where one so dislikes the lead character. Self-righteous and self-centred, obsessed with class priviledge to the point of disbelief.....I could go on. A very different character to Ms Gregory's White Queen. I read The White Queen quite a while before listening to The Red Queen, so I didn't find the repetition of the history lesson too tiresome (some reviewers of the book on Amazon are quite critical of this). What was most intriguing was the way this character is portrayed - she really isn't likeable at all. The story is well told, and in typical Philippa Gregory style. If you are a fan of her work, and if you are happy to listen to the same period of history just told from the opposite side of the war, then you won't be disappointed.
Probably only deserving of four stars, but have opted for five as I enjoy good historical novels, and I always come away from a Philippa Gregory novel feeling as though I have learned something.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lynn
  • 23-12-2012

Tudor history brought to life

This is a well written story but does not make you like or sympathise with any of the characters although this may be an accurate historical depiction of the people involved

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jo
  • 16-07-2011

True Philippa Gregory style

The mirror story to the White Queen this book gives another perspective to the same events. However, this book can also stand alone with its interesting characters whose plots and scheming leaving you wondering who is supporting who. Personally I found the main character a little naive which simply adds to the self centred nature of the character. Written very much in Philippa Gregory's style and if you liked her other books you will certainly enjoy this one.

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  • Dan Sands
  • 26-11-2021

The Red Queen

Really enjoyable, the two narrators helped to bring out the characters of Margaret and Jasper, while other characters were made distinct. The music added to the atmosphere of the historical area and, while the narrative lags at times, descriptions of battle scenes make up for this.

If I have a criticism it may be that it is just too long as Margaret narrates events that are outside of her perception and she tells us things in too much detail at times. I much prefer when she receives news from others, i.e. Jasper, in order to fill in the blanks.

Really enjoyed the ending.

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  • Marie
  • 17-08-2021

horrible old witch!

The author has done a great job of tell the story of such a horrible narcissistic, hypocritical woman. I can only imagine it was done as a personal challenge. I've honestly never read a book with such a deliberately unlikeable protagonist.
Very well done!

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  • Stephen Bentley
  • 25-05-2021

Unexpected pleasure

I didn't expect to be as impressed by this as I have been. Wonderful story.

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  • Rachel
  • 22-07-2020

Very good - recommend

I enjoyed The White Queen and this is from the opposing Lancastrian view point. Both so great for understanding the Wars of the Roses and bringing history to life! You don’t love the main character but it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of the novel.

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  • David Priddle
  • 04-05-2020

Red Queen

Fantastic book brilliant writing and narrations the addition of music a nice touch. Awesome battle scene at the end.

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