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341
4.4 out of 5 stars
The White Queen [DVD]
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116 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2013
I feel that this series has been unfairly criticised. It was never marketed as a documentary, and doesn't claim to tell the factual story. One should enjoy it for what it is- a drama. And as far as drama based on history goes, it is actually quite a good one. Yes, elements of the plot are not factually correct, but then we should also remember that they are possibly not factually incorrect either, as with the series set in the 1400s it is impossible to know the whole concrete truth. Many aspects included in the books and series are things that may have been true. For example, while some dismiss the witchcraft storyline as ridiculous, it is fact that Elizabeth Woodville and her mother were accused of being witches. While it may not have been true that they practised 'witchcraft', I actually find it interesting that the series portrays the allegations as true.

The White queen is based on the 'cousins war' series by Philippa Gregory focusing on three woman caught up in the 'Wars of the Roses'. These women are Elizabeth Woodville the wife of King Edward IV, Margeret Beaufort the mother of Henry Tudor (who we know as Henry VII), and Anne Neville the wife of Richard III. Gregory's novels bring to light the lives of these women who were key players in the Wars of the Roses, although their war 'would not be won on the battlefield.'

The series begins with Edward IV meeting Elizabeth Woodville, and ends with Henry Tudor's victory at the Battle of Bosworth. This covers the power struggle between the house of York and house of Lancaster, as well as the mystery of the Princes in the tower, all this intertwined with the stories of relationships. Amanda Hale (Margeret Beaufort) and James Frain (Lord Warwick)stand out for me as the stars acting wise.

Yes the series can be criticised, for example some scenes looked obviously low budget, and it also seems 'unfair' for want of a better word that the UK gets the edited version unlike the USA. The DVD itself does not have subtitles which would be a massive bummer for some (I can't understand how and why a BBC series in 2013 does not have this....) and it would have been good if there were more bonus features. Nevertheless I enjoyed the series and it is ideal sunday night television. This is a must for historical fiction fans, or if you are interested in history in general and want to see what this is all about. It has encouraged people to research more about the period which can only be a good thing. I wish there were more programmes on tv like this.
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66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2013
This series is a decent historical drama, a sort of prequel to the Tudors, with less violence.

It covers a long period in the lives of the main characters, but the producers have chosen not to indicate the passing of the time in any way, which leads to some confusion (of two women aged twenty something, which one is supposed to be the lady mother?) and, I can only assume unintended, humour (two agile radiant youths lying in bed telling each other 'we are not young anymore'). Therefore it is sometimes difficult to see how much time is supposed to have passed.

Many have commented on too much magic present in the series - Elizabeth's mother has been tried for witchcraft and the contemporaries believed Elizabeth herself to be a witch too. I don't think the magic is bad - we see things happening, like storms, after some curses have been cast, but it is up to us to believe that the curses may actually have caused the storms. There is a nice parallalel to Elizabeth's magic in Margaret's religious devotion, she too is very involved with higher powers, always on the lookout for signs and miracles. And she too interprets the events as being divinely directed.

The dvd itself - a disaster. There are no subtitles - as if this was a 40 year old production only recently restored and nobody bothered with subtitling it. There is almost nothing to choose in the menus: there is no scene selection! You may just select an episode. And, as an extra bonus, of the four dvds, three force you to watch commercials (yes, and no way can you choose the menu directly!), which I find the cheapest trick, since this is no bonus dvd delivered with a morning paper for and extra pound, this is a relatively expensive, brand new box-set.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2013
When I watched this on the TV (with subtitles) I loved it, and was so excited to get for my birthday. Imagine how gutted I was when I put it on and discovered there was no subtitles for the deaf and HOH. How can a dvd in this day and age not have subtitles? Sadly, I have to stick to the books, even though this is one adaptation I really enjoyed! Really disappointed
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2014
I got this DVD for Xmas and have only just got round to watching it. I am so ANGRY that there are no subtitles!!! I am deaf and was looking forward to this very much, as I know that when this was shown on TV, it HAD subtitles!! I feel conned....
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2013
We are on episode 6 here next week, I am thoroughly enjoying this tv series. Although I am not from the UK, I have great interest in reading about English history. I have read a few factual history books so I know this series doesn't follow the history exactly to the letter but I believe this story works for a tv series and is adapted very well considering three books are combined to make a ten part tv series. I believe that the actors are all perfect in their roles and I don't agree with other reviewers comments about wooden acting etc. Also I see negative comments about sets being too clean, too nice etc again I don't agree. I think the setting is fabulous and I believe they shot The White Queen in Bruges. I am not a nit picker I am enjoying it for exactly what it is, history fluffed up a bit for tv. If it gets more people interested in history, I'm all for it. Watch it, make your own mind up. Personally. I am loving it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 December 2014
The perfect gift for all historical movie buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker
This was definitely not a good time period in which to be a woman, but this lot certainly made the best of it. Britain's famous War of the Roses, a long struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster for the throne of England, reads somewhat like a football game with a crown substituted for the ball.

But this reboot, based on the spectacular books by Philippa Gregory, eschews most of the bits known to the modern audience courtesy of Shakespeare's plays and instead focuses on the women involved. This puts a whole different spin on everything and is probably a good deal more accurate. After all, history is largely written by the winners and Shakespeare was writing under a Tudor monarch, so it follows that perhaps his version of events might be a trifle suspect.

The timing of this mini-series coincides with the the archaeological find of Richard III's remains at Greyfriars Church, lending further relevance to the modern audience. They say truth is stranger than fiction and this complicated story about a tumultuous time period in England's history certainly backs that up.

The production values for this series are stupendous, filmed largely in Belgium where lots of authentic architecture from the period still stands. Gorgeous costumes, elaborate sets, intricate jewelry and stunning locations make the whole thing come to life in lavish detail.

The casting is top notch and my personal favorite is Aneurin Barnard playing Richard of York as handsome and thoughtful, a far cry from the villainous hunchback of legend. Because this series focuses on women, their marriages and children, it does include a fair amount of sexual stuff, so be prepared for bosoms and backsides. True, there was very little suspense as history classes inadvertently provided spoilers, but it was still richly entertaining. Enthralling and gripping, I binge watched the whole thing in two days and would love to see more of Gregory's books adapted for television
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2013
While I like some of the White Queen other parts are disappointing. The marriage between Anne Neville and Richard o Richard f Gloucester was a love match according to Sharon Penman in her well researched and readable story of the House of York "The Sunne in Splendour". In the White Queen Gregory suggests that Richard was planning on marrying his niece Elizabeth. Again that isn;t the case. In the first instance after the children of Edward the Fourth were declared illegitimate Richard would hardly do this as it would make nonsense of his claim. Elizabeth was alleged to be in love with her uncle but Richard was negotiating to Marry Princess Joanna of Portugal after Anne's death. Richard has had enough bad press without being accused of other unsubstantiated crimes. Anne was 3 months short of her 29th birthday when she died. She had been married to Richard for 13 years. The White Queen would still have been great tv drama if the real facts had been included.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
This is a great series. Unfortunately, with no english subtitles or closed captioning it was very difficult for me to follow as I'm hearing impaired. Too bad and shame on the dvd producers who should know better.....
Jan C MacLennan-Kennedy
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2013
This was never meant to be a factual documentary and if you take it for what it is, it is an entertaining tv series. The casting is particularly good.

I am however, really disappointed by the lack of subtitles, I am hearing impaired and find it difficult to follow so have based my one star review on this.
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There has been a huge amount of laughably pompous grouching about the supposed inaccurate historicity of this series. Yes, the 'facts' have been altered or ignored in some cases. But who knows the 'facts'? Anyone who claims to know is simply a fraud. The only real facts to consider are that the series has some excellent acting and provides an interesting, informative and engaging starting point for anyone who wants to do their own research on this lesser known period of English history. Does anyone really believe Shakespeare's history plays are historically accurate? If not how dare they adapt them and make them into films! Next thing you know people will be saying that the bible is a historically accurate account of human history. Dear me!
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