This is a wonderfully atmospheric evocation of the court of Henry VIII, and the one woman who destroyed two of his queens, from the bestselling author of "The Other Boleyn Girl". The year is 1539 and the court of Henry VIII is increasingly fearful at the moods of the ageing sick king. With only a baby in the cradle for an heir, Henry has to take another wife and the dangerous prize of the crown of England is won by Anne of Cleeves. She has her own good reasons for agreeing to marry a man old enough to be her father, in a country where both language and habits are foreign. Although fascinated by the glamour of her new surroundings, she senses a trap closing around her. Catherine is confident that she can follow in the steps of her cousin Anne Boleyn to dazzle her way to the throne but her kinswoman Jane Boleyn, haunted by the past, knows that Anne's path led to Tower Green and to an adulterer's death. The story of these three young women, trying to make their own way through the most volatile court in Europe at a time of religious upheaval and political uncertainty is Philippa Gregory's most intense novel yet.
Philippa Gregory, who went to school in Bristol, has a history degree from the University of Sussex and a PhD in eighteenth-century literature from the University of Edinburgh. She has worked as a journalist and for BBC Radio before becoming a full-time writer. She lives with her family in North Yorkshire.