Saturday, 7 September 2013

The White Queen- Philippa Gregory BOOK REVIEW

"1464. Cousin is at war with cousin, as the houses of York and Lancaster tear themselves apart...
...And Elizabeth Woodville, a young Lancastrian widow, armed only with her beauty and 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."

This is the third book I have read of Gregory's Woman from War of Roses collection, however, this was the first in the series so I've done them a bit back to front, but as I said in my other reviews (the RED QUEEN and the KINGMAKER'S DAUGHTER) it doesn't matter which book you read first or last because they follow the exact same story just told from different points of view.

This is the story of Elizabeth Woodville who literally came from the bottom of the heap to being crowned Queen of England. I personally believe that in the TV show on BBC she is shown really very poorly because in the book she is far more a human with emotion rather than a Queen of ice like she is portrayed in show. In the book you get to really see things from Elizabeth's point of view; I am not saying that she wasn't a determined woman who certainly knew how to persuade her husband, but she certainly wasn't the villainous witch that she is portrayed as in the show and the other two books.

Her main priority is to have boys so that the House of York have heirs after her husband; she does this well and has two healthy boys. Not only does she have two boys she also has six healthy girls (she gives birth to another boy and girl who die shortly after birth or in their early years). So after she has done her duty as a wife her main concern is to make sure that her princes get on the throne and that the girls marry well and maybe become queen's themselves.

They always say that a mother's fury is something to be beckoned with and I truly believe that everything she did after she had her children was to keep them safe, but also to make sure that she had an heir on the throne. She certainly wasn't going to give that one up easily and she literally stages rebellions from sanctuary which despite being unsuccessful showed everyone that she wasn't going to simply give away her throne.

In both the book and the show they talk about Elizabeth being a witch and possessing the Seer quality. Do I think this is real or fake? Well no one knows for sure (and before you say "oh magic isn't real" well since you have no proof that it isn't real I will not accept that it isn't). Either way it is a gift that her daughter Princess Elizabeth her eldest daughter, also had. This created some very interesting theories and plot in the book which made her character seem all the more interesting. Its hard to say whether her curses really worked or if it was all just coincidence but either way it gives Elizabeth Woodville an air of mystery.

I'd obviously recommend reading this series, so far my favourite is still The Kingmaker's Daughter, but this is a close second. I am currently on the last but one book in the series The Lady of the River's and once the White Princess is out in paperback I will review that for you as well.

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