Philippa Gregory’s The Red Queen app

Philippa Gregory

Publisher Simon & Schuster UK is launching its first combined eBook and audiobook this month with the release of Philippa Gregory’s best-selling historical novel The Red Queen on the App Store. The audio and eBook texts will be fully synced and the app is designed with video and audio extras, including an interview with the author providing a background to the historical period of the Plantagenets.

The second book in Philippa Gregory’s new series, 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.

Here’s what The Times had to say about the novel in August this year:

‘This interweaving of the personal and the historical in a way that is fluid and entirely believable is, of course, why one reads Gregory in the first place.  But the backbone of this book is the manipulation of her central character, the way in which Gregory successfully guides her from hero to antihero, keeping her compelling all along.  Once that job is done, and Margaret has gone truly bad, the action breads into a proper gallop.  There is more bitching, double-dealing and downright skulduggery than in an entire series of The Thick Of It, and a splendidly bloody climax to boot. Delightful escapism’.

The iPad app includes a map of the battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster during the War of the Roses.