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
Do you have an author that you trust so wholeheartedly that you’d read the back of a shampoo bottle if you knew they wrote it? For me that author is Philippa Gregory.
The White Queen follows our main character Queen Elizabeth of England and her life story, starting from the time she becomes a widow due to her future husbands war. Philippa Gregory is the master of researching history and getting inside the minds of those people to try and tell their story to her utmost ability. Every time I pick up a Gregory novel I know I’m not only going to have a good time, I’m going to learn something. There is also a television show based on this three book series and I watched it along side reading The White Queen. I’m not sure how the remaining two novels are going to go as far as chronological order of history but I’m going to find out because anything that remotely pertains to the Tudors, I will be interested in.
Elizabeth as a character was so vivid, as were all the other characters and even side characters. I didn’t get lost in the nonsense of the court life or the politics which is something I’m always worried about when it comes to accurate historical fiction. These characters were well researched and Gregory breathes such life into them that you can’t help but feel saddened that the people the novel is based off of are long gone.
Aside from the masterful research put into it and the beautiful writing I was pleasantly surprised to find out some major events that my (terrible) history classes left out of the books. I had no idea about the war of the roses, or so they called it. I learned very little in school when it comes to wars and the like but the thing I was most pulled into was the lost princes in the tower.
Leave it to Gregory to bring to light the fact that two small boys, I believe of the ages of 8 and 12, were locked in the Tower of London because they were the princes who would inherit the throne, and never to be seen again. I think it’s probably a little obvious what happened to them, given that their uncle wanted the crown for himself and would have been third in line to inherit it if they were alive. Yet after I started reading about those two tiny princes I found myself in the deep depths of wikipedia and any article about the lost princes that I could find on google. Just like every historical fact that Gregory brings up in her novels, I had to research them for myself. I always find myself SO invested in anything she writes and for long after I am searching for more information on the events. More facts, more theories, more opinions.
Not only was this book a five star read for me, it was an educational experience to say the least. To say the most, it’s now a burning obsession of mine and I’m probably going to go ahead and completely inhale anything else Gregory goes on to write.