Book Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory 

Read between: 1st- 6th September.

Format: Paperback

Published: 2009

Publisher: Simon & Schuster.

Synopsis: 1464. Cousin is at war with cousin, as the houses of York and Lancaster tear themselves apart….

And Elizabeth Woodville, a young Lancaster an widow, armed only with her beauty and her steely determination, seduces and marries the charismatic warrior king, Edward IV of York.

Crowned Queen of England, surrounded by conflict, betrayal and murder, Elizabeth rises to the demands of her position, fighting tenaciously for her family’s survival. Most of all she must defend her two sons, who become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower.

Set amid the tumult and intrigue of the Wars of the Roses, this is the first of a stunning new series, in which internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings the extraordinary drama to vivid life through the women- beginning with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Review: Although this is the first book on the series, I’m reading them in chronological order so in that case it’s the second. 

Elizabeth Woodville, a widow, manages to win the heart of King Edward IV- just as her mother Jacquetta foretold. A secret marriage leads her to become Queen and that’s where the story starts- in my eyes anyway.

This is admit the ongoing ‘War of the Roses’- there is rivalry between brothers, rumours and betrayal. Is it all too much for her to deal with? After all, Elizabeth may have been bought up around royalty but she wasn’t born into it- unlike her husband.

The House of York features a lot more in this book, obviously, but I likes it because I felt that George, Duke of Clarence and Richard, Duke of Gloucester’s (later Richard III) characters were much more padded out.

Even though in Elizabeth’s eyes they are villains after her husband’s crown.

I think the most interesting part of the story was Gregory’s take on the mystery of the Princes in the Tower. Did Richard kill them to get the crown?

What happened to young Prince Edward? In the book, Price Richard is hidden away from his uncle so doesn’t suffer the same fate as his brother.

The only part that was a  bit weird was when Elizabeth’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, wants to marry her uncle- Richard III- because she believes he loves her and she loves him.

Bit odd- pretty sure even that wouldn’t have been allowed at that time!

Still- it was such an interesting story and I really enjoyed it!

4/5 stars

Thanks for reading!

~ Katie 

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