Philippa Gregory was born in Kenya. When she was two years old, her family moved to England. She was a "rebel" at school, but eventually decided to go to university and was educated at 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. She has taught at the University of Durham, University of Teesside, and the Open University, and was made a Fellow of Kingston University in 1994.
Her academic background has given her a knowledge of and enthusiasm for many periods of history but particularly for the Tudor period and the 16th century. Her research in 18th-century literature led her to write the bestselling Lacey trilogy ... Wideacre, which is a gripping story about the love of land and incest, The Favored Child and Meridon. This was followed by The Wise Woman, described as a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. A Respectable Trade, a novel of slave trade in England, set in 18th-century Bristol, was adapted by Gregory for an acclaimed 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 at the heart of the English Civil War: Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth won her new fans, while her contemporary novels ... Perfectly Correct, Mrs Hartley And The Growth Centre, The Little House and Zelda's Cut ... remain favourites with many readers. 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, which was 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 Parker 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.
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.
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. They were 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, who she had first met during her time in Hartlepool.
Philippa Gregory now lives on a 100-acre farm in the North York Moors national park, near Stokesley, with her husband, children and stepchildren (six in all). Her interests include riding, walking, skiing, and gardening.
Philippa Gregory also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia. Over 100 wells have been built by donors to date.
On her website, Philippa 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 Bolyen'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)
Earthly Joys (1998)
Virgin Earth (1999)
The Cousins' War
The White Queen (2009) - a biographical novel about Elizabeth Woodville, the queen consort of King Edward IV of England and mother of the Princes in the Tower.
The Red Queen (2010) (Lady Margaret Beaufort and her quest to place her son Henry Tudor on the English throne)
The Lady of the Rivers (Autumn 2011)The Story of ([Jacquetta of Luxembourg], the mother of Elizabeth Woodville.
The White Princess (TBA) The Story of Elizabeth, Princess of York, daughter of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII.
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")