Monday, May 7, 2012

Friends n' Family #3: The White Queen - Philippa Greggory

Okay again another well timed book with my budding interest in British History. While home on a visit I was talking to my Aunt (my mother's sister) and telling her about watching The Tudors and my new interest in British history. My Aunt who has always been into British history started talking about an author who does a lot of writing about British history. So my aunt suggested Philippa Gregory's The White Queen. While not about Tudor England like a lot of her other work it is still set in Britian's turbulent past and starts setting the stage for the reign of the Tudors.

The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville who rose from the life of a common woman to be Queen of England. She had beauty that capture the eye of a king and the strength of will to keep her family together and protected for years. Her two royal sons were the central figures in one of the most confusing mysteries in British history. "The Princes in the Tower" were her two York sons who while being kept in the tower went missing. The White Queen shares the story of how Elizabeth rose to royalty and her long fight to make sure she and her family stayed there.

While parts of the story are fictitious Philippa Gregory uses fact and deductive reasoning to create a story that is believable. This story is well written and captured my attention from the beginning and held onto it with an iron grip until the very end. The story incorporated the history behind Elizabeth Woodville but also mythology connected with her and her family. Another draw to the story for me was the fact that Elizabeth was a strong, fierce woman who demanded respect and fought tooth and nail for it. She went from being a woman with no power and a family supporting the loosing side to marrying the oppose and becoming the most powerful woman in England. I loved this book.