Thursday, June 26, 2014

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory (2013) - book 5 in The Cousin's War series

I recently became very addicted to the BBC television series "The White Queen", based on the first four
books in The Cousin's War series by Philippa Gregory.  When the series ended, I wanted to know more and checked out the next book in the series, as well as a few other historical novels on the English monarchy by other authors.

While I did enjoy reading about what happened to Henry Tudor after he became King Henry VII, and his wife Elizabeth of York, and it was interesting to read all the details about life at court during those times, sometimes the book was a bit tedious.  Written from the point of view of the women in the kings' lives, Elizabeth of York (as portrayed by Gregory) just didn't seem to have the same power, cunning, or strategic insight as her mother, grandmother, or even mother-in-law.  She is always saying she does not know anything, or cannot do anything to help anyone, torn as she is between loyalty to her husband and love for her missing, mythical brother, one of the lost Princes in the Tower, a constant threat to Henry VII's reign.  I completely understand why the BBC decided to end the television series with the previous book.

Elizabeth of York was the mother of Henry VIII, and fittingly, the next book on my list is Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.  I think this will be a much more engrossing read, as I loved the first novel in this trilogy, Wolf Hall.  Mantel is an incredible writer.