The White Princess by Phillipa Gregory

Since the publication of The Other Boleyn Girl over 10 years ago I have enjoyed Phillipa Gregory’s style of historical fiction. The White Princess is the latest in her cousin’s war series of books centered around the women of the houses of Lancaster and York during the Wars of the Roses.

 

As usual Gregory’s work is thoroughly researched and the characters are well rounded and engaging. Elizabeth of York has always been a much ignored and sidelined character in the saga of the Wars of the Roses and her most interesting characteristic seeming to be her proximity to the crown and marriageability but she is cast in a new and much more feisty light in this novel. However, it must be remembered that this is a novel and that the author openly admits to using conjecture and fictional elements to embellish the facts. The continuity elements from the previous books in the series are maintained which obviously adds to the thrill of reading the series as a whole and its is obviously better for the reader especially when trying to unravel the complex familial relationships which characterises this period.

 

My only disappointment in reading this installment of the series was that parts of it were incorporated into the TV series The White Queen which aired in autumn 2013 and in the last few episodes in particularĀ  Princess Elizabeth of York was a major character. This, unfortunately, gave me an idea of the character acted which jarred with how I imagined her while reading the book.

 

This is a complex but easy read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and I would heartily recommend the whole series of books.

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