The White Queen

Author: Philippa Gregory

So I started watching the Starz version of The White Queen a few years ago but for some reason I never finished it. I think I got busy and then forgot about it. Starz is coming out with another story related to this, The White Princess in April and it looks really good! So I asked a friend and she said it’s a whole series of books by Philippa Gregory and that you can start with any of them because they all come together in the end.

Clicking on the book will bring you to Barnes and Noble

The White Queen (Cousins' War Series #1)

So, I started with The White Queen first because I honestly bought the wrong book haha. I’m happy I started with this one though because some of the other books in this series don’t seem as interesting, so it looks like I made the right choice. (Side note- Each book is related to a women trying for the throne and keeping their family safe). The White Queen is about real life Elizabeth Woodville in the mid to late 1400s, a commoner who marries King Edward IV. The romance itself is a whirl wind affair, and frowned upon in the beginning because it’s unheard of for a King to marry a commoner. But Edward fell in love and there was nothing he could do to stop that. So they married, he became King and she became Queen. The beginning of the story is Edward and Elizabeth’s love as well as him fighting for the throne. It also depicts all the work Elizabeth had to go through in her first year as queen, setting her family up — what she must do to give her family power, strength and safety. The second half of the book is the 20+ years (ish) of Edward and Elizabeth’s life…again fighting for the throne, keeping their growing family safe and trying to keep England safe but all in a different way from the first time they met.

What was so interesting about this one was just how far people would go to be on the throne and the risks people had to take, who daughters had to marry etc– all to keep the blood line going and power to the family. It’s so fascinating to me and is handled so differently now. The jealously from brother to brother, cousin to cousin all to be the King of England and ruler was amazing. Young children who were heirs weren’t even safe during this time. Queens were always scheming to keep their family safe, or women were always scheming to make their song King. I honestly don’t know how anyone trusted anyone other than their immediate family and even that seems like it could be a challenge. But again, it was so interesting to see how it all happened and played out (and the fact that this story was about real people and what happened to them and theirs), and to think how since the 1800s (yes, I know 400 years after this took place) it seems to be a relatively peaceful process/transition.

I have to say, I couldn’t put this down and I found myself reading more about the history of the King and Queen of England, what happened to their children and all their loved ones based on their life of ruling. It gave me a glimpse into 1400 England but not as a historical textbook either but instead brought real people to life, it helped you get into their thoughts and maybe understand what they had to go through on a daily basis. Philippa Gregory did her homework too, at the end of it you can see all the different references she used to put this book together, which I love. When you see someone with that much enthusiasm, you know it’s going to be well documented.

Anyway, for this one, I gave it four stars on goodreads and I’ve already started The White Princess which is about Elizabeth and Edwards IV daughter and her marriage…..(I’ll leave it at that so there are no spoilers).

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