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The White Queen [Hardcover]

Philippa Gregory
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (700 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Aug 2009
The first in a stunning new series, The Cousins War, is set amid the tumult and intrigue of The War of the Roses. Internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings this family drama to colourful life through its women, beginning with the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen The White Queen tells the story of a common woman who ascends to royalty by virtue of her beauty, a woman who rises to the demands of her position and fights tenaciously for the success of her family, a woman whose two sons become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the Princes in the Tower whose fate remains unknown to this day. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores the most famous unsolved mystery, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Edition edition (18 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847374557
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847374554
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (700 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Now she is looking at the family that preceded the Tudors: the magnificent Plantaganets, a family of complex rivalries, loves, and hatreds.

Her other great interest is the charity that she founded nearly twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for 140 wells for the primary schools of this poor African country.

Product Description


'Gregory has again given the past the kiss of life'
-- Daily Express, 7 August 2009

`Robust, unpretentious and rather shamefully compelling'
-- The Times


`Robust, unpretentious and rather shamefully compelling'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
I discovered Philippa Gregory a few years ago when I spotted the eye gripping and truly gorgeous cover of The Other Boleyn Girl at my local library, and which I had to read right away of course. Though I knew it wasn't historically accurate in many places, I found Philippa Gregory's storytelling enchanting: the way the Tudor court took shape before my eyes and how she wrote about every day details like what kind of food people ate, what dresses they wore, how they spent their daya all made that ancient period of history more human and easier to imagine. Once I discovered Philippa Gregory's writing I wanted to read more. However, unfortunately I found both The Boleyn Inheritence and The Constant Princess disappointing. So it was with trepidation that I started reading The White Queen, not knowing if it would be like the gripping historical tale that The Other Boleyn Girl was or repetitive, dull and not too interesting like the other two novels. I have to say The White Queen didn't disappoint, Philippa Gregory is definitely back with an even more excitiong story to tell!

The White Queen is the first book in Philippa Gregory's new series about the Wars of the Roses. It tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, wife to Edward of York, mother of the Princes in the Tower and of Elizabeth of York, who later became the wife to Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII.

I have to admit that I was not familiar with the details of this time period and didn't know much about the details of the wars and tugs for power. And especially because of this it was very refreshing to read a novel and not knowing how it would end (not like with The Other Boleyn Girl, where one could never ignore the fact that Anne would be executed).
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262 of 286 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not perfect, but better than expected! 3 Sep 2009
By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE
Lady Elizabeth Grey's husband was killed at the Battle of St. Albans and she desperately wants his lands back for her two little boys. She is tired of living in her parents' home and would like her independence. So she stands out in the road as the new king, Edward IV, rides by, holding their hands and hoping he'll see her. He does see her and takes note not only of her problems, but of her beauty, and before she knows it, Elizabeth is the queen of England and in almost over her head with politics and intrigue. She is a Woodville, though, and she will perservere, going to the edge to push her family as high as it can possibly go before her tower of cards topples around her.

This is going to be a good long review, as I have a lot to say on this book. For those who skim, here's my verdict: much better than I was expecting!

If you know me and have been reading my blog, you'll know that I've been working on a dissertation about Anthony Woodville (and fifteenth century chivalric culture in England overall) for what feels like forever. As such, this book was bound to touch on a topic near and dear to my heart, and it was bound to get some of the facts wrong, if only for the sake of storytelling. So it does; the Woodville family was loyal to Edward IV after 1461 but before he married Elizabeth, and Anthony was sent to besiege Alnwick Castle on his behalf with the earl of Warwick in 1463, not to mention that Elizabeth's father Lord Rivers had already been appointed to office. The beginning was anachronistic in another way because Edward kept being referred to as a boy, and there is no way anyone in the medieval period would have considered a man who had commanded and won two battles a boy.
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113 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great historical fiction! 15 April 2010
I loved Gregory's `The Other Boleyn Girl' and have always been pretty interested in the Tudor period in English history, but I have no great knowledge of the preceding Plantagenet age in which this book is set. I know a little of The Wars of the Roses and of the Missing Princes in the Tower, but that's it. Before reading this book on Elizabeth Woodville, I knew nothing of her at all. However, Gregory really brought these characters to life for me. she has chosen a fascinating female protagonist, and the era in which this is set is just as exciting and interesting as the Tudor era.

My lack of knowledge on this period in history made this book a very exciting read for me. I usually find lengthy battle scenes in historical novels pretty boring, but here I found them to be tense and exciting since I didn`t know the outcome of most of them. If there was one main difference between Gregory's Tudor books and this one, then it was the suspense factor for me. The Tudor books didn't hold much surprise for me as through study, books and even TV, I have a good background in Tudor chronology. Here, I feared for the characters at every turn. I didn't know what hand fate would deal them next, and I loved it.

While my lack of background knowledge on the time period added to my enjoyment of the book, it brought it's problems too. With so many battles, so many changed allegiances and so much plotting going on, it is sometimes easy to get confused. That's before I even mention the names. There are so many Edwards and Richards in this book, that things can get a little muddled. I did a little background reading and looked up a chronology of English Kings and Queens online, and this helped.

Elizabeth herself is an interesting character to read about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by Rhiannon Charlton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Couldn't stop reading it, well written!
Published 3 days ago by Sarah White
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
couldn't put it down - am hooked!
Published 8 days ago by jayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I have bought the complete set
Published 9 days ago by Millie Malteaser
4.0 out of 5 stars The book is wonderful and this adaptation is very well done
The book is wonderful and this adaptation is very well done. The only pity is that is abridged, but nontheless I would recommend it to Philippa Gregory fans. Read more
Published 10 days ago by woozle
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite authors
I read this book after watching the TV series on BBC One. Gregory is a fascinating writer who manages to create stories and plots from accurate historical events. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sophie
2.0 out of 5 stars Really disappointing book from Gregory
I was a big fan of many of Gregory's historical fiction novels but this one is really poor. The characters are not well developed or likeable and the story is boring in comparison... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Ceedly
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A great read as long as you like historical novels
Published 23 days ago by Maxine Pugh
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth buying
as always philippa gregory writes a brilliant historical view of the first commoner to marry royalty. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Leslie Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 1 month ago by mrs g roberts
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