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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars. Immerse Yourself in the Past
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,...
Published 11 months ago by Susie B

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly repetitive & questionable but still enjoyed it
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...
Published 8 months ago by R. A. Davison


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly repetitive & questionable but still enjoyed it, 13 Nov 2013
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R. A. Davison (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Princess (Kindle Edition)
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. There is very little hint at the powers of the water goddess that her mother and grandmother had except in being warned of death. The court is controlled by the King's Mother and so Elizabeth has little to do.

The plot itself becomes exceptionally repetitive. During the novel The White Queen Gregory gave us the idea that one of The Princes In The Tower : Richard in fact survived, a theory that given later events seems quite likely. Throughout his reign Henry is chased by the spectre of 'the boy' and pretty much the entire novel is devoted to various boys popping up out of the woodwork claiming to be Richard Plantagenet. As each of these emerge, Henry rants at Elizabeth she simpers about not knowing anything, the pretender is defeated and it all starts again. This wears thin.

I do find the idea that Richard survived plausible and certainly of these Pretenders, the one they called Perkin Warbeck may well have been the real thing which is pretty much what is suggested here.

In the end I think that possibly the things that I found the most interesting about The White Princess are the continuation of the idea that Elizabeth effectively cursed her own line by accident & that this book in itself acts as a natural conduit between Gregory's Cousins War and her Tudor Saga the next story chronologically being that of Catherine Of Aragon in 'The Constant Princess' whose marriage to Prince Arthur is being prepared for at the close of this novel.

Not perfect by any means, but still another enjoyable addition to the canon.

Verdict 7/10
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars. Immerse Yourself in the Past, 1 Aug 2013
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Princess (Kindle Edition)
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. As in her previous novels in this series, Philippa Gregory writes in the present tense which, even if we already know the outcome of the story, almost makes us feel as if we do not have that knowledge and that her characters may be able to change their fates - and, in doing so, Gregory's narrative is suspenseful and well-driven. I think I should add at this point that the author makes no claims for being strictly historically accurate with her writing, so if you prefer your history to be backed up by rigid and scrupulous research, this novel with a fair amount of artistic and romantic licence, is most probably not for you. However, if you are in the mood for something lighter and you just want to escape modern life and immerse yourself in the past, this would make a good choice for effortless and entertaining holiday or downtime reading.

Previous books in the Cousins' War series:
The White Queen (1); The Red Queen (2);The Lady of the Rivers (3); The Kingmaker's Daughter (4).

3.5 Stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another interesting novel from Philippa Gregory, 29 Sep 2013
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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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The antidote to Tudor propaganda?, 9 Sep 2013
By 
John M "John M" (UK) - See all my reviews
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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. In fact Henry is even portrayed as a rapist.
We may not know the precise details of the historical facts, and it is clear that Henry VII was both unpopular and beset by numerous rebellions, but reading this account it seems surprising that Henry managed to retain the throne. At times virtually every nobleman England seems to have deserted him in favour of a York claimant, but Henry still manages to field an army twice the size of any challenger. And there lies the problem of consistency and credibility of this account.
The reader should be aware that this is very much a fictional interpretation of history, every much a fiction as that left to us by Henry himself, but painted very much through a prism of nostalgia for the defeated House of York. I guess we will never really know the true story of some of these events, and therein lies the intrigue and the scope for fictional interpretation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, tedious, boring!, 8 May 2014
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HdeC (Croydon, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good, 4 Sep 2013
This review is from: The White Princess (Kindle Edition)
I have really enjoyed The Cousins War series mainly because it is set in my favourite historical period. However I was a little disappointed with this latest offering. 'The White Princess' picks up the story of Princess Elizabeth of York who marries Henry VII to unite the York and Lancaster families. Again Gregory does have to do a lot of interpretation with what happened to a lot of the people as we just do not know and some of it I feel did not really work and it is all down to people's personal interpretation of events. I agree with other people that this was very repetitive and kept coming back to things that did not need mentioning almost as if finding material was a struggle. This latest offering also did not flow as well as the others and was quite dull at the beginning and took a while to get going. However once I got into it, I found it most enjoyable to immerse myself in the past and enjoy the glamour and riches of the Tudor court. The book does finish quite nicely and at the right point in history. Although this is not my favourite novel in 'The Cousins War' I still found it to be enjoyable and a good read, just do not expect it to be as good as some of Gregory's other books.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The White Princess, 4 Aug 2013
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M. Please "moirausk" (UK) - See all my reviews
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I love her books but this one I thought was the weakest, there was no magic about this story, no sense of excitement, in the end I found it dull and repetitive . Such a shame.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 4 Oct 2013
This review is from: The White Princess (Kindle Edition)
I am a big fan of philippa Gregory's novels and have really enjoyed the rivers series, however I just found this one a bit slower than the others and less gripping. I also found it repetitive and kept thinking 'just get on with it' st times. Overall it's worth a read if you enjoyed the other books in the series but I was disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Continuation of the Wars of the Roses, 4 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The White Princess (Kindle Edition)
The marvellous thing about reading historical novels is that you are taken to periods of history which you have little knowledge.
I had thought that once Henry VII been crowned that England had a peaceful period to recover from the contest between York and Lancaster.
My only criticism is that the book finished too abrumptly as I had expected it to continue until Elizabeth's death.
Otherwise a great read to follow after watching 'The White Queen' on TV.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, 28 Aug 2013
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An interesting and enjoyable take on the mystery of the prince's in the tower. Another good read by PG. However I did feel that the book was repetitive in parts and too closely written to the previous novels in the series leading me to question whether I had read the novel before! For the first time I actually found myself skipping pages. That said, as a huge fan of Tudor history I find that PG' s novels bring to life the Tudor age and allows the imagination to discretely place you within the court of Henry VII.
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