The White Queen is another one of Philippa Gregory’s elaborately researched works of genius, featuring (as usual) a damsel in distress, royalty, romance, power and intrigue. This particular tale follows the story of Elizabeth Woodville Grey, widow of Sir John Grey. She manages not only to captivate Edward IV, but to become Queen of England- something previoiusly unheard of for a commoner. Her fascinating story includes her secret marriage, the Princes in the Tower, her husband’s death and her fall from power, and lots and lots of plotting.
It took me all weekend to read, and I’m a fast reader; it’s a hefty tome, so plan to be diverted for a while. Overall, I’ll admit that I like her Boleyn books better, but I think that’s more of a personal affinity for the content than an observation on the writing.
Philippa Gregory‘s quality and style is always consistent and her content never strays too far from the known truth, rather serving to embellish it or fill in the gaps in the story. Each of her novels reads like a guilty pleasure, but the historic aspect makes her works smarter reads than those of contemporary genre writers such as Nora Roberts. If you’ve already read The White Queen and The Red Queen, you might want to pre-order The Lady of the Rivers, as it’s due out in October!