The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

white queenIn the 15th century, before the Tudors ruled England, a struggle for power between the House of Lancaster and the House of York resulted in the Wars of the Roses, sometimes called the Cousins’ Wars.  As this novel begins, Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful widow of a Lancastrian who died in battle, stands by a roadside with her two sons.  As King Edward IV, a Yorkist, rides by, she asks him to grant her and her children their inheritance, pointing out that they are innocent of any treachery against the House of York.  Her pleas are so successful that she ends up as Queen of England!

Elizabeth’s sons, the two young princes who were imprisoned in the Tower of London, play a prominent role in the novel, as does King Richard III.

The White Queen is the basis for the TV miniseries of the same name.

If you have read George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series beginning with A Game of Thrones or watched the HBO series based on those novels, you’ll find similarities in Martin’s depiction of struggles for a fictional throne and the historical Wars of the Roses.

Gregory, a historian with a Ph.D. from Edinburgh University, is the author of a number of bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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