Monday, January 16, 2012

Soap Opera in London - The White Queen

Title: The White Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4165-6369-3
Pages: 415

Off the Shelf Challenge book.  This book has been on my shelf for over a year.  My mother-in-law read through Philippa Gregory’s The Cousin’s War series which is based on the historical events of England’s War of the Roses.  It was a time of political intrigue, as the two royal houses, Lancaster (Red Rose) and York (White Rose) connived and murdered to gain control of the monarchy.  The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, who, as a widow, became Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Edward IV.  In this story, her mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, was a shrewd maneuverer with potential supernatural powers, who engineered her daughter’s assent to royal status.   The Tower of London, as a residence, and Westminster Abbey are central locations in the story.  As a historical fiction, much of the general facts of the story are based in documents, with the detailed fictionalized.  I enjoyed the courtship and early days of Elizabeth and Edward, but got lost in the soap opera of the political maneuvering. Elizabeth was also ambitious and protective of her own family.   The mystery of the princes in the Tower of London is illustrated toward the end.  Having been to London several times, it was interesting imagining the scenes as Gregory described them.

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