Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ambition Cost Her Everything

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Summary: Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.
Review: A tale of Elizabeth Woodville and the horrors she experienced.
While I had read a good deal of books dealing with the Tudors and that time period, I have not read anything about the Cousins' War. The history of the Cousins' War is very tragic and sets the tone for the rest of the book. I definitely will be reading more about this time period, both fiction and non fiction. Since this was my first foray into the war, I had no idea what to expect and knew very little of the history.  
I couldn't feel much for Elizabeth. Sure, she experienced a lot of heartache, but that does not automatically gain my sympathy. A lot of characters in the story mention how Elizabeth is ambitious. I personally didn't see her as that ambitious. I saw her more as stubborn. She wanted what she wanted and would not take no for an answer even though it could cause harm or even death to other people. She would never back down and let pride rule her instead of common sense. I did learn about the time period and the upheaval everyone experienced.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to big fans of historical fiction, fiction about English royalty, or fiction about the Cousins' War.

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