"In Bed" with Philippa GregoryPosted by Goodreads on May 2, 2010
Philippa Gregory transforms the stuff of dusty history books into bona fide page-turners. An expert on the House of Tudor, Gregory brings the dramatic lives and loves of historic women like Anne Boleyn, Katherine of Aragon, and Elizabeth I to modern readers who, in turn, devour her bestselling books, including The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool. Now Mary, Queen of Scots comes alive in her new book, The Other Queen. We asked the Kenyan-born, Britain-bred writer what she likes to read before tucking in.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
"Not her best-known work, but her most subtle and thoughtful. The romantic tension is terrific, and the great author is working out whether a woman should allow herself to be conventional and persuaded, or follow her own opinion."
[image error] Middlemarch by George Eliot
"The great English novel, I don't know if there is one better. It is the multilayered story of an English town in the middle of the coming of the railways throughout England. The female characters are wonderfully drawn and the range of people enthralling."
The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
"My favorite historian of the Tudor period and other times. Weir manages to encompass all the detail with such a pace that you can read this almost like a novel."
History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe by Rodney Bolt
"I love this playful reading of the Shakespearean works looking for evidence that the author was Christopher Marlowe — not dead as one had thought but run away ultimately to the Sugar Islands. It is irresistible, if more creative than historical."
The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch
"Perhaps her greatest work, certainly my favorite. It tells the story of a man settling to retirement by the sea but haunted by his past and his desire to re-create his childhood happiness. It is a novel of great depth and beauty."