Title: The White Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Published: Pocket Books, 2010
Genre: Historical novel
Blurb: 1464. Cousin is at war with cousin, as the houses of York and Lancaster tear themselves apart…
…And Elizabeth Woodville, a young Lancastrian widow, armed only with her beauty and her steely determination, seduces and marries the charismatic warrior king, Edward IV of York.
Crowned Queen of England, surrounded by conflict, betrayal and murder, Elizabeth rises to the demands of her position, fighting tenaciously for her family’s survival. Most of all she must defend her two sons, who become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower.
Set amid the tumult and intrigue of the Wars of the Roses, this is the first of a stunning new series, in which internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings this extraordinary drama to vivid life through the women – beginning with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
How I came to own it: Christmas or birthday present, can’t remember which.
What I thought: At its worst, this could be cringe-worthy. The characters could be one-dimensional and the prose over-modified and over-the-top. Worse, there was, at times, a Mills and Boon bodice-ripping thing going on. Edward IV says to Elizabeth, “Wife, bed.” And I laughed out loud. The whole Melusina thing was also silly.
Thankfully, though, there were more complex and interesting bits, particularly Elizabeth’s attitudes to each of her children. Overall, this was an enjoyable enough read.
How I’m doing: 46 to go.