Review: The White Queen

in , , by mpartyka, August 20, 2009

Like most of us, I have read several Philippa Gregory novels. Earlier this week I decided to download an audio book to listen to as I worked on a project… The White Queen was listed on the iTunes home page for $15 and was under 7 hours. I had no idea the book was released just that day!

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. Now, six novels later, she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire where she keeps horses, hens and ducks. (source: author website)

As with all Gregory novels, you receive a history lesson while reading a passionate tale. The White Queen recounts history, in the mid 1400’s, telling the story of a young widow who falls in love and secretly marries King Edward.

It’s hard to imagine families changing history to benefit their status and reading about this, knowing its part of history, brings a sense of joy to the story. Most of the book takes place during a time of war. Families trying to rewrite the family tree, dissolve marriages and remove sons from the record in the attempt to win the throne. If you like historical fiction, you will certainly enjoy Gregory’s latest novel.

Have you been to the author’s website? It’s a must visit. There is a twitter application that allows you to read Catherine’s story, told 140 characters at a time.

Type: Fiction, 432 pages, Hardcover

Synopsis:
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.

Reviews:
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. - USA Today
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