Dark Tides

Part of The Fairmile Series


Midsummer’s Eve, 1670. A wealthy man waits outside a poor London warehouse to meet with Alinor, the woman he failed twenty-one years before. He has everything to offer: money, land, status – and he believes she has the only thing he cannot buy: his son and heir.

Meanwhile in New England, Alinor’s brother Ned cannot find justice in the New World, as the king’s revenge stretches across the Atlantic and turns the pioneers against each other and against the American Indians.

Then, a beautiful widow, Livia, arrives from Venice, telling Alinor that her son Rob has drowned and that she needs their help. She enchants the warehouse family with her sensual carefree warmth, and promises of a new profitable trade selling beautiful statues of marble and bronze to fuel the classical craze among the wealthy landowners. But something in Livia’s story doesn’t add up and the answers lies across the dark tides in Venice…

Dark Tides was released on 24 November, 2020. It will be out in paperback on 8 June (USA/Canada) and 10 June (UK/Australia/New Zealand/India) 2021.

Behind the book

Released in 2020

This is the second book of my Fairmile series. We return to the story of a fictional family in England, Italy and America, and discover the dramatic change in their fortunes over 21 years. The research has been an adventure on two continents. I’ve been looking at the intricacies of the London wharfs, studying Venice’s trade in antiquities, and discovering early settlements in New England: the people who made them possible and those who resisted them...

Book opens in 1670

Dark Tides opens in Restoration London – a city gone mad for pleasure. After years of Civil War, the monarchy is restored and Charles II is on the throne. Royalist exiles return from hiding and are rewarded, joining the hedonistic court at Whitehall Palace in a city of greed and glamour. For some this is a chance to make their fortunes, for others a chance to steal one.


Woman and Home

"...a gripping read, spanning London, Venice and New England, all beautifully observed by Gregory."

AudioFile Magazine

"Louise Brealey's performance is just one good reason to listen to the second in Philippa Gregory's Fairmile series. Gregory's unparalleled storytelling is another."

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New York Journal of Books

"...an entrancing family story and a surprising adventure. Gregory’s female characters are, as always, clearly human, deeply thoughtful, and driven by their own desires and agency."

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Book Reporter

"Gregory’s storytelling chops and engagement in the untold history of women makes this book an inspiring feminist entertainment"

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Better Reading

"Richly imagined, meticulously researched, and utterly spellbinding, Dark Tides was a marvellous read"

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Wigan Today

"Dark Tides is a story rich in imagination and the rawness of real history, relentlessly exposing the glaring social divides between poverty and privilege"

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Toronto Star

"The sweeping novel explores the complexity of female power... in Gregory’s characteristically gorgeous prose."

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Woman's World Magazine

"A dramatic roller-coaster ride full of drama, intrigue and family secrets."