author C.C.Cole's blog

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Non-Spoiler: Review of “The White Princess” by Phillipa Gregory

The young Elizabeth narrates her story and reflects upon her life, very different from her mother.  She was raised as a Princess in the powerful House of York.  Her family ensured that she was educated to be a queen as much as the young Prince would be raised to be a king; so she knew her music, books, sewing, and even some basics of cooking.  In every fairy tale of a Princess, she lands almost every detail.

The detail she misses is her Prince that isn’t a toad, but a King.  Henry VII does marry her under specific details given by her mother Margaret “Regina” (not Beaufort anymore) who has given herself a new title almost the length of my blog article.  Margaret leaves nothing to chance, and she and her son aren’t sympathetic with a princess who loved a fallen king more than she should have in all ways.  It takes time for the young Elizabeth to deal with the fact that her man lost and she is a spoil of war.

Her beautiful mother, Elizabeth Woodville, doesn’t disappear.  She’s a tremendous help to her daughter, as Jaquetta was for her, present for childbirth and emotionally giving as much help as she can.  But girls are not women, Elizabeth and Margaret have more in common than we realize in “The White Queen” as the scheming continues with young Elizabeth sitting in the middle of drama that she isn’t really privy to and not a real part of. 

Henry understands immediately that a noble battle to become King and being a King are two entirely different feats; the latter infinitely more difficult.  The English people must learn the Tudor dynasty, which does not happen overnight.  Like Richard, he thinks he’s being the good guy but doesn’t know whom his enemies and friends are.  He is proud of his lovely queen, but like most men, finds any woman pining for another man to be a turnoff.  Over time and childbirths later, they find common ground in their children, like many married couples.

“The White Princess” carries the story into the beginning of the Tudor rule of England.  The young Elizabeth is witness to many points of intrigue, and though is a protected princess and a queen later, the reader learns that during such times, no one is really protected.

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