- Publisher: POCKET BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 400 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 32mm | 299g
- Publication date: 15 April 2010
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1847394647
- ISBN 13: 9781847394644
- Sales rank: 2,311
Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings the tumult and intrigue of The Wars of the Roses to vivid life through the women of the House of Lancaster and the House of York, beginning with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. A woman who won the love of a king and ascended to royalty by virtue of her beauty, Elizabeth fought tenaciously for the success of her family -- her daughter who would one day unite the warring dynasties, and her two sons whose eventual fate has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower. An active player in the power struggles that surrounded her, she made hard and courageous choices, always trying to protect those whom she loved. Informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills, Philippa Gregory gives an unforgettable voice to an extraordinary woman at the heart of a devastating conflict.
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds. Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country. A former student of Sussex university, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University, her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire. She welcomes visitors to her site www.PhilippaGregory.com
By blodeuedd 19 Aug 2010
It's about the sometimes oh so confusing War of the Roses. Lancaster about York, cousin against cousin, brother against brother. Elizabeth Woodville was a young Lancaster supporting widow who asked the new York king to help her get back the land for her two sons. They married, and the story begin with her living it. Edward IV trying to hold his throne, Warwick resenting her, Henry VI trying to take his throne back, trouble with his brother George, and all those Lancaster and York supporters changing sides and rooting for new supporters.
This book made me google, a lot. A really interesting historical novel always makes me to that, I want to have a look at everyone involved, see what happened before, and what will happen. One thing I was happy about to see was the family tree in the beginning, because that was needed so see where the Lancaster house and The house of York really fought for, and of course to see where the house of Tudor started.
I came to like Elizabeth through this book, and she really loved her husband, even though he had bedded half the women in England, but he still loved her like crazy. And I liked him even if he slept around.
But there were some aspects that were a bit, I mean I had nothing against it, but felt it didn't have to be there. The house of Burgundy claimed that they were descendants from Melusina, this half woman, fish being that lives in lakes. There was magic in the women of the family. I am glad that she never said that it was magic; instead she just made Jaquetta and Elizabeth witches who thought they managed to make some things happen. Just because Jaquetta was accused of being a witch doesn't make her one. The best way to discredit a king is to call him a bastard, his wife a witch, and more. The reason why they surely married in the first place was lust, cos yes he got around. But in the end, I didn't mind really. Let them think they have powers.
She also took up the subject of Perkin Warbeck, and made him truly be Duke Richard, one of the princes of the tower. Interesting take on an age old question, but no, I to think they both were killed, one way or another. Who killed them is another matter.
Last is just a personal thing, Elizabeth of York (Elizabeth W's and Edward's daughter) was rather silly in the end. Come on, falling in love with her uncle, Richard III, gross. And he had killed her uncle, her half brother, and more. He might have killed her younger brothers. He stole the throne, and she liked him? Well at least she did in this book, the truth we will never know. But there was sure something fishy going on at that court. But anyway, I did not care of her in this book.
A good book about the War of the Roses, and of one fascinating woman. I hope the Red Queen is equally good as this one.
By Tasha 24 Jul 2010
Philippa Gregory never fails to produce a well researched, excellently written tale, easily combining facts with enough fiction to really bring the story to life. Elizabeth wasn't always a popular queen, seen by some as a witch - probably due to her ambition and sucess - but she certainly makes a great character, and in modern terms a courageous and spirited heroine. Although married for love, Elizabeth always has her eye on the prize - the throne - whether it be for her husband or sons, and eventually even her daughter.
As a fan of the Tudors series by Gregory (including The Other Boleyn Girl) I already knew I was going to enjoy this book before I started it and I certainly wasn't disappointed. I think knowing a little bit of the history of the time helped with understanding the book more clearly, it certainly wasn't necessary to follow the story. Essentially I knew what was going to happen but it was all about how the author would get there and that is the best part of these books.The historical facts are set but there's a whole scope on the story that fills the gaps. I was especially intrigued by Gregory's take on the Princes in the Tower part of the plot and while it is still a much debated part of history, I liked her view on it because it made sense for the characters she'd written.
A definite recommended read - even if you don't usually like the historical genre, I would suggest trying at least on of Gregory's books - it might just get you hooked!