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The White Princess (COUSINS' WAR) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 902 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; First Edition edition (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857207512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857207517
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (902 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,125 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Kenya in 1954, Philippa Gregory moved to England with her family and was educated in Bristol and at the National Council for the Training of Journalists course in Cardiff. She worked as a senior reporter on the Portsmouth News, and as a journalist and producer for BBC Radio.

Philippa obtained a BA degree in History at the University of Sussex in Brighton and a PhD at Edinburgh University in 18th-century literature. Her first novel, Wideacre, was written as she completed her PhD and became an instant worldwide bestseller. On its publication, she became a full-time writer.

Wideacre was followed by a haunting sequel, The Favoured Child, and the delightful happy ending of the trilogy: Meridon. This novel was listed in Feminist Book Fortnight and for the Romantic Novel of the Year at the same time.

Her next book was The Wise Woman, a dazzling, disturbing novel of dark powers and desires set against the rich tapestry of the Reformation. Then came Fallen Skies, an evocative realistic story set after the First World War. Her novel A Respectable Trade took her back to the 18th century where her knowledge of the slave trade and her home town of Bristol explored the human cost of slavery. Gregory adapted her book for a highly acclaimed BBC television production which won the prize for drama from the Commission for Racial Equality and was shortlisted for a BAFTA for the screenplay.

Next came Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth, based on the true-life story of father and son both named John Tradescant working in the upheaval of the English Civil War. In these works Gregory pioneered the genre which has become her own: fictional biography, the true story of a real person brought to life with research and verve.

The jewel in the crown of this new style was undoubtedly The Other Boleyn Girl, a runaway bestseller which stormed the US market and then went worldwide telling the story of the little-known sister to Anne Boleyn. Now published globally, this classic historical novel won the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002 and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. The Other Boleyn Girl was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama and by Sony as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Eric Bana as Henry VIII.

After adding five more novels to her Tudor Court series including The Constant Princess and The Queen's Fool, two of her best-loved works, Philippa moved back in time to write about the family that preceded the Tudors, the Plantagenets. Her bestselling six-book Cousins' War series tells the story of the bloody struggle for the throne in the Wars of the Roses from the perspective of the women behind the scenes. The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter were adapted by the BBC and Starz in 2013 as the hugely popular TV miniseries The White Queen.

Having completed The Cousins' War series with The King's Curse, Philippa has come full circle back to the Tudor court. Her newest novel is about Kateryn Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII: The Taming of the Queen. Her other work in progress is the young adult series The Order of Darkness, set in medieval Italy after the fall of Constantinople, feared at the time to be a sign of the end of the world.

A regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, with short stories, features and reviews, Philippa is also a frequent broadcaster, a regular contestant on Round Britain Quiz for BBC Radio 4 and the Tudor expert for Channel 4's Time Team. As well as her extensive array of historical novels she has written modern novels, children's books, a collection of short stories, and a non-fiction book with David Baldwin and Michael Jones: The Women of the Cousins' War.

She lives in the North of England with her family and in addition to interests that include riding, walking, skiing and gardening (an interest born from research into the Tradescant family for her novel Virgin Earth) she also runs a small charity building wells in school gardens in The Gambia.

Product Description

About the Author

Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the international bestseller The Other Boleyn Girl, which became a major film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. She has written several bestselling novels set in the Tudor period and The Cousins' War series which is to be a major TV production. This book is the first of a new series of novels set in medieval Europe: Order of Darkness. Philippa's other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 160 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country. A former student of Sussex University, and a PhD and Alumna of the Year at Edinburgh University, her love of history is the hallmark of her writing. She lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire. She welcomes visitors to her site

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The White Princess is the latest installment of the Cousins War Saga, picking up where The Kingsmaker's Daughter left off; Anne Neville and Richard the Third have died, and Henry Tudor has finally fulfilled his mothers desperate single minded determination to see him on the throne.

Margaret Beaufort the King's Mother, and Elizabeth the Dowager Queen have already made an alliance that would see Henry Tudor marry Elizabeth Of York thus cementing any doubts about his claim to power.

Here things get somewhat muddled I think, and a lot of people's characters get besmirched by the unfortunate authorial decisions Gregory makes. Firstly, young princess Elizabeth it seems would far rather be getting it on with her dead uncle than with her new young man. Allegations of incest between Richard III and Princess Elizabeth went unproved and seem entirely unlikely. They were probably largely invented by dramatists such as Shakespeare looking to paint Richard III in a poor light.

Next Henry Tudor turns rapist, determined to get Princess Elizabeth pregnant before marriage to prove she's not barren. Margaret Beaufort encourages this and Elizabeth Woodville complies and so the whole sorry affair reflects well on no-one. Elizabeth Woodville had 8 children and her mother before her had 12, it seems highly unlikely in those times that the fertility of the young princess would ever have been questioned, and also more than unlikely that the religious Margaret would have encouraged sex before marriage.

Following their poor start Henry and Elizabeth have a difficult relationship flying in the face of what is known of them historically. Unlike her mother, Elizabeth Of York is not a power player in her own right and does not really carve out a path of any interest for herself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading Philippa Gregory's novels and this one was no exception. As far as I can tell, they are well researched but, of course, some of the episodes in Elizabeth's life have to be left to the author's imagination. Having read recently "The Kingmaker's Daughter", I was a little surprised that this novel didn't cover Elizabeth's entire life but stopped short at the point where Henry V11 had disposed of the two remaining Yorkist rivals. I did feel that there was over-emphasis in the novel on this aspect of his reign. It did bring home to me though how insecure was Henry's hold on power for much of his reign and I felt a lot of sympathy for Elizabeth as a pawn in this political game.
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By Susie B TOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hot on the heels of the television production of 'The White Queen', Philippa Gregory's 'The White Princess' is the fifth book in the Cousins' War series and this latest instalment tells the story of Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen, and King Edward IV. Elizabeth, young and beautiful and still in love with Richard III (her uncle and, as claimed in this book, her lover) is forced into marriage with Henry VII, the man responsible for the death of Richard, who has taken his crown and who, in marrying Elizabeth, hopes to reinforce his hold on the throne. Elizabeth, as Henry's wife, now finds herself moving between two of the most ambitious and powerful women of their time: her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, with her uncanny powers, and Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII. And Elizabeth is not just caught between these two women for, in her story, Philippa Gregory shows Elizabeth as a woman torn between loyalty to her husband and the children she bears him, and the hopes that her two brothers (the Princes in the Tower) might have survived and could return to take Henry's crown. There is a huge amount more covered in this novel (which took me some hours to read on my Kindle) including the arrival of the future King Henry VIII, but I shall leave that for prospective readers to discover.

Elizabeth of York may not be quite as intriguing as her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, but there is much to entertain in this atmospheric story: rebellions, plots, treacheries, betrayals, pretenders to the throne and more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a disappointment! Having read all the other books in the "Cousins War" series I was really looking forward to this. I've struggled on to page 327 but have finally reached breaking point. The endless repetition, the tedious story line where 20 words are used when half a dozen would have sufficed. Whole chapters written to describe Henry's fears/anxieties/suspicions, and then we go through it all again in the next chapter. It goes on and on. It's so boring! As to the historical content - Elizabeth's supposed affair with Richard III, her rape by Henry - not convinced. I won't be reading the next installment.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As most will be well aware this is the fifth book in the Cousins War (War of the Roses) series.
We move on in time from the previous books to the reign of Henry VII after his victory over Richard III at Bosworth, which I anticipated keenly because three of the previous four in the series cover similar time periods. This book in written from the perspective of Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville (The White Queen).
The book covers the period from 1485 to 1499, although Henry reigned for another 10 years after this. It takes in the rebellions of the aristocracy still faithful to the House of York, and the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. The treatment of the Perkin Warbeck episode is intriguing because the author pretty much regards him as Richard, Duke of York and therefore a real legitimate claimant to the throne rather than an impersonator.
Although the material is fresh and interesting in places, I have several problems with the book.
Firstly, it is extremely repetitive and could easily have been 150-200 pages shorter without losing much of substance. The portrayal of Henry VII is unflattering in the extreme. He is portayed as a paranoid, cowardly and vindictive hypocrite, heavily dependent upon his mother (Margaret Beaufort) and his uncle, Jasper Tudor. His marriage to Elizabeth is portray as forced, temptestuous and largely loveless. The characterisation of both Henry and Elizabeth seems rather flat and one dimensional.
Of course, I understand that history is written by the victor, and hence the received historical record has been airbrushed by Henry and his Tudor descendents, but Philippa Gregory certainly sets about redressing the balance here to much too great an extent, in my view.
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