If you liked Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl you might enjoy these fictional accounts of powerful women caught up in some of history’s most tumultuous times.
- The Winter Mantle
by Elizabeth Chadwick
When William the Conqueror forbids his niece to marry an earl whose allegiances are in doubt, he sets in motion a series of power plays and betrayals that will span two generations of noble families in Norman England.
- The Memoirs of Cleopatra
by Margaret George
Sweeping in scope and rich in period detail, this novel presents the life of an historical icon, told in her own voice. Readers follow the Queen of the Nile from age three, when she witnesses her mother’s death, to her own infamous suicide.
- Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane
by Alison Weir
Critically praised for her nonfiction accounts of the Tudor period, Weir ventures into fiction with this rich rendering of the coming of age of one of history’s great pawns–Lady Jane Grey, the “Nine Days Queen”.
- The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
by Sandra Gulland
The first in a trilogy about one of history’s great political pairings, this fictional diary begins with Rose, a humble Creole girl who grows up and transforms herself into Josephine Bonaparte, wife of Napoleon.
- Katharine of Aragon
by Jean Plaidy
From one of the masters of historical fiction, this epic recounts the life of Henry VIII’s first wife–from her childhood in Spain to her role in history’s most famous divorce.
- Time and Chance
by Sharan Kay Penman
The second entry in a trilogy about power and personality in medieval England, this novel centers on Henry II, Archbishop Thomas Becket, and Eleanor of Aquitaine, a passionate, ambitious, and powerful woman uncommon for her time.
- Empress Orchid
by Anchee Min
A young girl in nineteenth century China comes to court as a concubine and through bribery, seduction, and intrigue becomes Empress of China, gives birth to the “Last Emperor,” and rules for decades as regent.