THE WHITE QUEEN

by Philippa Gregory |

REVIEWED BY JOANNA POWELL

HISTORICAL FICTION

After six juicy bestsellers about royal intrigue in Tudor England (including The Other Boleyn Girl, The Virgin’s Lover), Gregory is back in the sidesaddle with this saga of an earlier, bloodier era: the Wars of the Roses. This first in a planned trilogy about the period is told from the perspective of Plantagenet queen Elizabeth Woodville, a widowed beauty who catches the eye of young King Edward of York, marries him in secret and rises to become an ambitious and formidable ruling mate. Elizabeth and Edward IV’s lifelong ardor works in romantic counterpoint to the gory battles between the Houses of York and Lancaster, which ravaged England in the 1400s. Like the Tudor heroines who would follow her, Woodville proves a complex and indomitable force. Ultimately her sons would become the two princes who disappeared while imprisoned in the Tower of London, a mystery that confounds scholars to this day. Gregory’s exhaustive research, lush detail and deft storytelling are all in top form here, making The White Queen both mesmerizing and historically rich.

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