Week 9–The White Queen

Ok, so I’m way behind on my blogging. Life has been crazy lately, what with personal disaster for a few days, and then a vacation to New Orleans, from whence I write to you now.  I’ll probably write another blog right after I finish this one, because I have two books to blog about. AND I’m losing track of the weeks since I’m getting so far behind. I’m pretty sure I’m almost through week 10, but no worries, I’ve got a book read and ready to be blogged about.

The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory was quite good, though most certainly not her best.  For a while I thought Gregory was http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=Bibliograph07-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1451602057&fc1=F3EDED&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=040404&f=ifrhalf-goddess because her writing was so phenomenal.  The Other Boleyn Girl was an absolutely incredible novel (and another abysmal movie starring–guess who?–Eric Bana).  Since then she has become, in my eyes, fully mortal, after having read The Wise Woman, which was so gross at times I found myself gagging.

Gregory writes royal historical fiction for the most part, following stories of various kings and queens of England.  This novel is a story of the War of the Roses, when the House of York and the House of Lancaster fought bloody battles and waged silent political wars to determine who would take the throne.  Because all the royals in England are related to each other somehow–can’t let that peasant blood dilute divinity–it was also known as “the cousin’s war.”  Elizabeth Woodville is a noble woman, widowed, who uses magic to encourage the current king–Edward, of the York line–to fall desperately in love and marry her.  The rest of the novel is an account of their reign together and their constant battles against various earls and dukes who lead uprisings against them, spreading rumors of the king’s illegitimacy.  Elizabeth is also pregnant all the time, and has, I believe, eleven children.  Often it gets repetitive, but it is still quite emotional and gripping to read of all the betrayals and danger the queen and her children must endure.

Gregory’s writing is lovely as usual, her language choice eloquent.  She evokes vivid images of the English countryside in moonlight, gruesome battles, finely dressed lords and ladies, etc.  As usual, she is a delight to read. For those who enjoy historical fiction and political intrigue, it’s a fantastic book.


4 thoughts on “Week 9–The White Queen

  1. Samantha says:

    I really didn't like The Wise Woman either (I believe that was one of Gregory's earlier novels?) But I actually enjoyed The White Queen and it reminded me a lot of The Other Boleyn Girl. I especially enjoyed the hint of mystical powers (being a SYFY girl, I love that crap!) I have never really read/watched anything about the War of the Roses, so it was refreshing to read about Henry VIII's grandparents. I just felt like it was a time period full of scandal and drama that people don't usually focus on.

  2. I did enjoy the element of the supernatural as well and the belief that they were descended from Melusina. Her role in the novel was really fascinating. Makes you wonder if the events involving water actually happened, such as the storms and flooding, and that's Gregory's way of explaining them, or if she simply made them up to help her plot. What do you think?

  3. Samantha says:

    I think George's wife and heir really were lost at sea. I'll have to do some research, but that's really creative on Gregory's part if she tied those historical elements in and explained them as supernatural. I did like the Melusina plot line too. It reminded me of the Romans who would often say they were descended from gods (e.g. Caesar and Venus). Back then, the English thought they were descended from the Romans, so being "divine" and descended from gods fits in perfectly.

  4. […] in The Cousins’ War series, which follows the War of the Roses. This novel is the prequel to The White Queen–the first of the […]

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