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The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
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The White Queen (edition 2010)

by Philippa Gregory

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2,6111522,294 (3.58)145
Member:EllieH
Title:The White Queen
Authors:Philippa Gregory
Info:Touchstone/Simon & Schuster (2010), Edition: 1ST, Paperback, 400 pages
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The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

  1. 60
    The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman (DevourerOfBooks, kraaivrouw)
    DevourerOfBooks: Perhaps the best historical fiction on The War of the Roses.
    kraaivrouw: This is the one to read about the War of the Roses.
  2. 41
    The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir (ddelmoni)
    ddelmoni: Non-fiction
  3. 30
    The King's Grey Mare by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (Sakerfalcon, tina1969)
    Sakerfalcon: Another novel focusing on Elizabeth Woodville.
  4. 30
    Katherine by Anya Seton (cyderry)
    cyderry: this book explains how the Yorkist/Lancaster line split occurred.
  5. 20
    The Last Plantagenets by Thomas B. Costain (cyderry)
  6. 20
    The Three Edwards by Thomas B. Costain (cyderry)
  7. 21
    The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (tesskrose)
  8. 10
    Figures in Silk by Vanora Bennett (joririchardson)
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English (149)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  All languages (152)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
Firstly, I want to say that writing a book is hard work. Gregory has obviously spent time on her research, and presumably put a lot of effort into writing this book so congratulations to her.

I did really want to like it. I love history and, as a matter of fact, this period in particular. Also, many of my friends have recommended Philippa Gregory to me.

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book.

To be frank, I can't believe it has so many good reviews.

The writing is repetitive and clumsy (and a perfect example of telling instead of showing...)
She says a sentence. Then rephrases it. And in case we haven't got the message, repeats it a third time.

Why did she decide to use first person narrative? If it had been used differently, it could have worked really well . As it is, Elizabeth's thoughts and feelings are used as a convenient method of shoving the plot down the readers' throats.

I can tell she did research, but I feel like she only used the bits that suited her purposes. At heart, the story felt extremely biased. In particular, the portrayal of Richard III - so unjust! Just because his reputation was ruined (primarily by Tudor propaganda) doesn't mean people should take rumours as facts

The dialogue is unnatural and stilted - presumable she's aiming for a style of the period, what the reader really get is a stiff and stuttering mess.
Oh, and the author also shoved a few third person chapters in for the times when Elizabeth wasn't in the scene. It's an ungainly change and a lazy tool.

All in all, I suppose I can understand why some people may like it, but I certainly don't recommend it to anyone. If you're interested in the time period, there are plenty of other books you could read instead.

Also, for anyone who's interested in Richard III, I strongly recommend 'Daughter of Time'! ( )
  Gorthalon | Dec 7, 2014 |
This was a really great book. My favorite in the Cousins' War series. Gregory did a great job writing this and has made me come to love Queen Elizabeth Woodville. I know a lot of historians dislike Elizabeth, and I honestly don't know why. Gregory's telling of Elizabeth's life with King Edward was fantastically done and I loved the myth of Melusina that was told throughout the book. I'm really looking forward to reading the White Princess now. ( )
  rabidmunkee | Nov 7, 2014 |
Those who enjoyed The Other Bolyn Girl (also by Gregory), will likely enjoy this first installment in The Cousins' War trilogy. Aside from the pieces of history told here (with scandal and rumors driving much of the action of the story), I personally found the transformation of the main character to be the high point of this novel. Elizabeth Woodville begins as a commoner thoroughly set on protecting her family and their future. By the end of the book, she has transformed into a power-thirsty queen who, although still very protective of (and in love with) her children, finds herself having to choose between them and her families happiness. ( )
  HeatherCHoffman | Nov 5, 2014 |
This is one of Philippa Gregory's better works. I loved the depth of the characters and the realistic view of the time period. The plot was enjoyable and fast moving while the depth of the characters was well developed. As she was addressing one of the great mysteries of the English royalty I felt that she did a nice job of leaving the fate of the two boys as unknown. She leads you down paths but all of them end up as possibilities rather than actualities. This is a great beginning to the series and I look forward to the next book. ( )
  goth_marionette | Sep 21, 2014 |
Loved this book very well written great piece of Historical fiction ( )
  maximeg | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
[A] highly professional, highly enjoyable novel: stylistically plain, rhetorically straightforward, infinitely more interested in drawing readers into the life and immediacy of history than in pedantically mimicking period idioms.
 
Gregory's exhaustive research, lush detail and deft storytelling are all in top form here, making The White Queen both mesmerizing and historically rich.
added by Shortride | editPeople, Joanna Powell (Aug 24, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philippa Gregoryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cottenden, JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, YuanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Li, CherlynneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyons, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
In the darkness of the forest the young knight could hear the splashing of the fountain long before he could see the glimmer of moonlight reflected on the still surface. He was about to step forward, longing to dip his head, drink in the coolness, when he caught his breath at the sight of something dark, moving deep in the water. There was a greenish shadow in the sunken bowl of the fountain, something like a great fish, something like a drowned body. Then it moved and stood upright and he saw, frighteningly naked: a bathing woman. Her skin as she rose up, water coursing down her flanks, was even paler than the white marble bowl, her wet hair dark as a shadow.
She is Melusina, the water goddess, and she is found in hidden springs and waterfalls in any forest in Christendom, even in those as far away as Greece. She bathes in the Moorish fountains too. They know her by another name in the northern countries, where the lakes are glazed with ice and it crackles when she rises. A man may love her if he keeps her secret and lets her alone when she wants to bathe, and she may love him in return until he breaks his word, as men always do, and she sweeps him into the deeps, with her fishy tail, and turns his faithless blood to water.

The tragedy of Melusina, whatever language tells it, whatever tune it sings, is that a man will always promise more than he can do to a woman he cannot understand.

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Richard on my other side kneels too and mutters, as if he cannot be heard, "Is this the king? Really? He is the tallest man I have ever seen in my life!"

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Book description
Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They ruled before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.

The White Queen tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, who secretly marries the newly crowned boy king. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become the central figures in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.
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In this account of the wars of the Plantagenets, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, Elizabeth Woodville, catches 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.… (more)

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