Book Review: The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory

January 2, 2014 Book Club 0

Book Review: The White Queen by Phillipa GregoryThe White Queen by Philippa Gregory
Series: The Cousins War #1
Published by Touchstone on August 18th 2009
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 408
Source: Purchase
Buy on Amazon
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Philippa Gregory presents the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses.

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

With The White Queen, Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another bestselling classic series from this beloved author.


my thoughts done

What an engrossing, absolutely intriguing read! I have always been enamored by the Tudors so to actually get a little more background on how they came into power is really interesting. And quite bloody as well!

This book, although fantastic, was also a bit confusing. I mean how many George’s does one family need?! As we all know that isn’t Phillipa’s fault that they had absolutely no imagination in those times and couldn’t name their children anything else, but it really does distract from the story when you keep trying to figure out who is who!

This particular Queen I felt was quite interesting. She is very exciting and does things that are really out of the norm. I was surprised that the family uses witchcraft so openly though. I mean, in this time people are burned for using witchcraft and not only are they open about their being of lineage to Melusina but they also use their powers to harm others. Probably not that smart.

I also found the plot quite horrific. All the politics and bloodshed and treachery that had to go into becoming King is horrible! And then to keep that helm! It was quite a lot to read and I wound up taking a breather just about half way through. It does slow down a little as you get to the end and then ends on a huge cliff hanger!

When all is said and done I just love Phillipa’s writing and I’m so glad I got to choose this for our book club!

the author

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acclaimed author.Gregory lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire, where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. Visitors to her site, become addicted to the updates of historical research, as well as the progress of her ducklings.

Her other great interest is the charity she founded nearly twenty years ago; Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells in the primary schools of the dry, poverty stricken African country. Thousands of school children have learned market gardening, and drunk the fresh water in the school gardens around the wells.

A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and her commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She also reviews for US and UK newspapers, and is a regular broadcaster on television, radio, and webcasts from her website.

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