The White Queen Review

BONJOUR! Today’s review is of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. This was adapted in to a TV series on BBC 1.

Elizabeth Woodville, of the House of Lancaster, is widowed when her husband is killed in battle. Aided and abetted by the raw ambition and witchcraft skills of her mother Jacquetta, Elizabeth seduces and marries, in secret, reigning King Edward IV, of the family of the white rose, the House of York. As long as there are other claimants to Edward’s throne, the profound rivalries between the two families will never be laid to rest. Violent conflict, shocking betrayal and murder dominate Elizabeth’s life as Queen of England, passionate wife of Edward and devoted mother of their children.

I can’t remember much about The White Queen, except it’s different to what I usually read. After discovering Max Irons in The Host, I watched him in The White Queen and decided to read the book of it. If you like historical books, then you would probably like it, otherwise I’m not so sure. I didn’t like the TV adaptation of it, but I read the book because I thought it would do me well to read something a bit different.

The concept of the book was very good but I disliked the genre. I rate most books according to how relatable they are, and I don’t think it was relatable at all. This was because it’s set in a different period of time, but if the author was clever she would’ve been able to adjust parts to make it more relatable. For example in Les Misérables, the characters are relatable because the writer strongly focused on the relationships between people and love and trust, like Cosette and Mauris.

As previously mentioned, I liked the concept of it because it was a completely different take on the story of the two princes in the tower and The War of the Roses. It was interesting to see things from the House of York perspective. I also liked how Elizabeth told the tale because she was a lot more conflicted and less biased about events. It was also good because she mentioned things about her relationship with Edward, not just about wars and things like that.

To improve the book I would shorten it by 50%. I wasn’t fascinated by the fights or things like that, just the drama. You would only want to read about the fights for a history paper probably, but then it’s not an encyclopaedia so you couldn’t use it anyway. There’s another four books in the series I have to read and I would much prefer them to be shorter so I could just find out all the ‘dramary’ bits.


Love, Sydney


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