The Last Tudor

The Last Tudor

The latest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous girls in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen.

Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days. Her father and his allies crowned her instead of the dead king’s half sister Mary Tudor, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her throne, and locked Jane in the Tower of London. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner’s block, where Jane transformed her father’s greedy power grab into tragic martyrdom.

“Learn you to die,” was the advice Jane wrote to her younger sister Katherine, who has no intention of dying. She intends to enjoy her beauty and her youth and fall in love. But she is heir to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and then to her half sister, Queen Elizabeth, who will never allow Katherine to marry and produce a Tudor son. When Katherine’s pregnancy betrays her secret marriage, she faces imprisonment in the Tower, only yards from her sister’s scaffold.

“Farewell, my sister,” writes Katherine to the youngest Grey sister, Mary. A beautiful dwarf, disregarded by the court, Mary keeps family secrets, especially her own, while avoiding Elizabeth’s suspicious glare. After seeing her sisters defy their queens, Mary is acutely aware of her own danger but determined to command her own life. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless and unforgiving Queen Elizabeth?

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Last Tudor includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Philippa Gregory. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Bestselling author Philippa Gregory tells the captivating story of Lady Jane Grey, who held the throne of England for nine days, and her lesser-known but equally fascinating sisters—the beautiful and romantic Katherine and Mary, small in stature but not in spirit—all of whom defy their queen in pursuit of what is most important to them. When the young king Edward VI falls ill and is rumored to be planning his succession, a plot is hatched to marry off Jane, Katherine, and Mary Grey as quickly as possible in the hopes that one will bear a Tudor heir and bring the family closer to the throne. Indeed, Jane is named queen by the dying king; but everything goes awry when the dead king’s papist half sister, Mary, asserts herself as the rightful heir to the throne. Imprisoned and threatened with death, Jane refuses to speak the words renouncing her Protestant faith that might spare her from a ghastly end. Later, Katherine and Mary are also faced with grave decisions when they are imprisoned by their cousin Queen see more

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About the Author

Philippa Gregory
Photo credit Santi U

Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her work has been adapted for the screen in The Other Boleyn Girl movie and the critically acclaimed STARZ miniseries The White Queen and The White Princess. Her most recent novel is The Last Tudor. She graduated from the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, where she is a Regent. She holds two honorary degrees from Teesside University and the University of Sussex. She is a fellow of the Universities of Sussex and Cardiff and was awarded the 2016 Harrogate Festival Award for Contribution to Historical Fiction. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

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