Sunday, August 2, 2009

The White Queen-Philippa Gregory

The White Queen
Philippa Gregory
Touchstone, Aug 18 2009, $25.99
ISBN: 9781416563686

Everyone is shocked when twenty-seven years old widow Elizabeth Woodville Grey marries the newly crowned King Edward IV; five years younger than her. He is the House of York while she is the House of Lancaster. With a twist, her family becomes his greatest loyalist backers while his brother George and his advisor Warwick unite in duplicity to steal the throne. A third family of cousins the Tudors wait in the wings while encouraging both sides in the dispute. The War of the Roses begins with the ascension of THE WHITE ROSE as queen.

The key to this super historical fiction is not the often told tale of changing loyalties or heated trysts (a Philippa Gregory norm), but the speculation into Edward and Elizabeth’s two sons, the lost princes placed in the Tower by their Uncle Richard. Clearly researched in great depth, Ms Gregory makes her case plausible based on accepted facts. Fans will enjoy the epic WHITE QUEEN as history comes alive, but it is the speculative history that makes this a triumph worth reading amidst a sea of novels as cousins go to war with ironically the long term victor being the third family Tudor.

Harriet Klausner

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