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The White Queen (The Cousins' War #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  110,764 Ratings  ·  5,673 Reviews
Philippa Gregory presents the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses. Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life throug ...more
424 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alright, I honestly did not like this novel. I can't believe this woman has written more than 10 books? I've been trying to conjure up excuses to give Gregory some credit but this novel just wasn't my style. Mainly because all it really is, is a detailed historical timeline with a little embellishment here and there; its bland soup. Her writing style in the beginning of the book was abominable. The first 10 pages were all I, I, I, and then He, He, He. What I'm trying to say is that there was no ...more
Bookworm Sean
This was my first Philippa Gregory novel, and it was such an excellent introduction to the author and genre. It actually inspired me to read more historical fiction by a variety of writers. I like Gregory’s style because the history, and intensity, is not sacrificed by the romance in the plot. Indeed, the romance is a mere element of the story, and not the story itself. So, now, many years later, I’m glad I picked this book up. I like Gregory's Elizabeth; she has such sharp claws.

A woman who k
Considering that I've now read six of her books, it pains me to say that I might be getting over Phillipa Gregory. Most of the reviews for The White Queen were good, and I expected to like it. But for the most part, it was just...meh.

So, plot summary: we've moved back in time from the Sexy Sexy Tudors to the Sexy Sexy Plantagenets, but unfortunately these people do a lot less fucking and a lot more plotting. Also witchcraft, which was weird.

Reasons I Did Not Particularly Love This Book:
-The ma
Jun 04, 2009 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Philippa Gregory’s latest historical fiction release is, to put it mildly, absolutely amazing. I think this is one of her better books--on par with The Other Boleyn Girl. The scope of The White Queen is just as if not more epic, in terms of literary drama, than the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn at the hand of King Henry VIII. It focuses on The War of the Roses, a bloody war of politics and rival family members pitted against each other as the Yorks and Lancasters fought to become the next ruling ...more
2013 update: It's been three years since I wrote this review. Just read the book again and my opinion remains the same.

I have a confession to make: I’ve been known to read trashy books. Now, this isn’t something that I like to shout from the rooftops, but if you spent your days reading Chaucer, you would unwind with something less cerebral too. I’ve done the romance novel thing, but the formula becomes grating after a while. So, my most turned to brainless literature is mediocre historical
Oct 08, 2009 Stacey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here is a thought that has probably never occurred to anyone while reading a Philippa Gregory novel: You know what this book needs? More politics!

Gregory is best known for her fictionalized tales about the lives of the Kings and Queens of England, most famously The Other Boleyn Girl. This is a genre I like to call Historical Harlequin, whereby there may be some actual fact but it is mostly sappy, glorified romance in what was probably just a time period more miserable than the 90’s. She turns fa
Sep 07, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After showcasing as many Tudor royals as any one reader can comfortably stomach, Philippa Gregory strives to show us another English Royal family as equally interesting. The White Queen launches her War of the Roses trilogy, and focuses on Elizabeth Woodville. Gregory’s Woodville falls instantly in love with the King, and she ascends the throne at a dangerous time of civil war. An incredibly cut throat period in which each claimant to the throne has a much right as the next, and the alliances of ...more
The White Queen is the first in a new series Gregory is writing based upon the Plantagenets and the Wars of the Roses - or The Cousins War as she calls it. The book begins as a widowed Elizabeth Woodville waits on the side of the road with her two young sons to plea for her dower lands from Edward IV. Several years younger, Edward is captivated and must have her - but Elizabeth holds out for a wedding ring and gets it. Elizabeth is crowned queen and immediately goes about getting the best positi ...more
Dec 28, 2009 Brandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Not what I was hoping for. The book jacket is better than this book. I finished it, but barely. The story went on and on and on- drama and drama and drama. Gregory's other books were interesting and hard to put down. This story was lacking the same intensity. The main character's voice was weak and a bit whiny. The first 100 pages were about how much she loved her husband, the king- how much she wanted him, how great the sex was and then what she gave to her family once she was queen. Too trivia ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Iset rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of romance and fairytales
Recommended to Iset by: No one

Before I even began reading the novel, I noticed one or two problems. Though small, they're worth noting. Gregory includes a royal family tree at the front of the book, to demonstrate the Houses of York and Lancaster, but according to this tree Edmund Tudor was married to King Henry VI at some point. I've got to say I burst out laughing at this. I understand that it's a genuine mistake, but seriously? Didn't Philippa Gregory or an editor or someone catch this before the book went to press? Putti
I have to start out this review with a disclaimer. This is a wonderful piece of historical fiction. The author, Philippa Gregory took facts and obscure history to weave an exciting tapestry of power, greed, and betrayal set against the backdrop of the late medieval British court in the late 1400's.

Our heroine Elizabeth Woodville, comes from mostly humble origins with a uniqueness of her own. Her mother's Burgundy family are descendants of a water goddess, Melusina. Wishing, tricks and witchcraf
Okay, so I lied when I said I had no idea why I was reading this. :P
I read it because it is being adapted into a TV Show starring Max Irons! . (Hear that, girls?)

Historical fiction -that too romance- is not my thing, not at all. I've tried my hands on quite a few historical books but ended up liking just one out of them ( Girl With A Pearl Earring ) and after reading this one I think I should just give up this genre. It is not made for me.

For the reason mentioned above and because of all the pr
Jan 20, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, leituras-2016
Primeiro livro da série "Guerra dos Primos" A Rainha Branca começa com a história da plebeia Isabel Woodville que com a sua beleza apaixona Eduardo e acabam por se casar em segredo. Eduardo vai para a guerra e com a sua vitória acaba por se tornar o rei Eduardo IV de Inglaterra, mas o casamento secreto entre ambos vai gerar um conflito enorme entre as duas casas (York e Lencaster) uma vez que lord Warwick tem um grande poder sobre o jovem rei e já tinha outros planos de casamento para Eduardo.

Sep 10, 2010 Ladiibbug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Book One in a new series featuring the War of the Roses era of English history

This is a wonderful historical tale, a book that pulled me in from the first few pages and never let go. Thrilling, fast moving, this is a deliciously engrossing read!

I was even more thrilled to read that this book explored one of the biggest mysteries of history -- (no spoiler) Richard III. History is not my strong point, but this entire subject is fascinating to me.

I'll definitely be anxious to continue with
Alice Poon

This was an engrossing and breezy read. The novel is narrated in first person and tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of Edward IV, in her prime years. For someone like me who has only limited knowledge of English history, this novel also provides an intriguing glimpse into the bloody period of English dynastic rule that was marked by internecine power struggles between the House of York and the House of Lancaster in 15th century England, more commonly known as the “Wars of the Roses”.
Alyce (At Home With Books)
If you had asked me last month what the War of the Roses was about I would have probably made some crack about the Michael Douglas movie of the same name in order to distract from my ignorance of this particular segment of history.

Once I started reading The White Queen I realized that I was familiar with parts of the plot from reading Richard III years ago. Even this knowledge was pretty scanty - just something about two boys being imprisoned in the tower. While I had some idea of the outcome of
Sarah u
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2009 Cate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Having great trouble actually reading this book. The real history of the time is sufficiently fascinating that there is really no reason Gregory needs to add water witches and sorcery into the mix. The central relationship between Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV is both underwritten and overwritten and embarrassingly bad. "Good God, I could take you now!" is not the kind of romantic writing one is willing to put up with for long. I am only a few chapters in, and life is simply too short to kee ...more
After seeing the first episode of the BBC’s version of The White Queen, I wanted to read the book. The war of roses is an interesting part of the English history that I don’t know that well; I only know the superficial highlights, nothing more.

This was an entertaining read, but I wouldn’t say that it was a brilliant one. I think the main story of that time is incredibly interesting but Philippa Gregory romanticized it heavily. For a period full of war, she spared us many of the details. I guess
Liliana Rio
Adorei sentidamente!! ;)
Mar 26, 2016 Cher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

I truly love Philippa Gregory's writing. She breathes so much life into historical figures that they seem to jump right off the page as historical events play out before you. I also love that she normally explains in her author's note what is known to be factual vs what is possibly factual, as well as what was purely fictional.

I also enjoyed the addition of magical realism included with this one. I found the Rivers' claim to being ancestors of an ancient water
I didn't get on with The Other Boleyn Girl, but I was willing to give Philippa Gregory another chance because she is such a loved writer, and it is an interesting part of history -- and perhaps more importantly, the portrayal of medieval queens is something I'm really interested in academically. But gah, I'm afraid I'm really wishing I hadn't bothered, or at least that I hadn't bothered to buy it. 12!

The problem with it is apparent from the very first pages. Elizabeth moves from a crafty, strong
Bobbie  Crawford-Flinn
Aug 04, 2009 Bobbie Crawford-Flinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philippa Gregory and Historical Fiction fans!
The White Queen
Book 1 in a new series – The Cousin’s War
Written By: Philippa Gregory
Published By: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Date: Available – August 18th, 2009!
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1847374554

The White Queen is the 6th book written by Philippa Gregory, that I have reviewed. I am very pleased to share a little something with you all; like a fine wine that improves with age, so too, does Philippa Gregory’s writing. As a fan of Philippa’s work in general, I was hopeful that her
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Well written, but boy can it be dry at times. Unfortunately, I felt that our main protagonist Elizabeth didn't seem to have much of a personality, and given everything in history that happened to her and her family, I was expecting a lot more feeling out of her character.

This is a good book, though I figure it's not like Philippa Gregory had to try all that hard to make it interesting. The history behind the War of the Roses/the Cousins War is full of conflict and plenty of drama even without t
May 16, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! For me Philippa Gregory is the ideal combination - a good novelist and an excellent researcher. She used her skill as a novelist to interpret her research in a believable and interesting way making the story of Elizabeth Woodville the White Queen come alive. The possibilities of witchcraft, the intrigues, power struggles and violent warfare were the backdrop to the story of a woman and her struggles to preserve her family against the perils of the age. I am really looking forw ...more
Abridged audiobook edition, read by Emilia Fox.

The pluses:
As with the couple other books in this series I've read, the writing style was repetitious and some scenes felt like filler. However, since it was abridged, a lot of the chaff was apparently taken out because the story bounced along from event to event. This was good because it kept it streamlined, but at the same time the lack of substance still came through from time to time.

The negatives:
Emilia Fox. I know she's a highly-praised actres
Morana Mazor
Jul 07, 2015 Morana Mazor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engleska u 15st. spletke, spletke, toliko spletki da se pogubiš u njima, između obitelji York i Lancaster, a sve zbog, naravno, engleskog prijestolja.. Ok, nije da nisu imali dobar razlog za spletkarenje.. ;) Ovo je razdoblje engleske povijesti poznato kao "Rat rođaka" tj. "Rat dviju ruža". Priča prati Elizabeth Woodville, udovicu, koja se, na zgražanje okoline, udaje za, tadašnjeg kralja Edwarda i njezine, jel, spletke, kako održati prijestolje za svoje sinove..i/ili kćeri.. A, imala ih je popr ...more
Intoxicating and enchanting!! I couldn’t put this one down!

I’m a long time fan of Philippa Gregory’s novels. She’s entertained me with both her historical dramas and recent YA fiction. I realize that her historical novels are often peppered with fictional fillers, but it’s the magical elements of her stories that intrigue me. The White Queen is no exception. This novel is the first in a series that includes drama, romance, magic, and political upheaval all in one punch.

The story spans over twent
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

The Cousins' War (6 books)
  • The Red Queen (The Cousins' War, #2)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Cousins' War,  #5)
  • The King's Curse (The Cousins' War, #6)

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“He promised her that he would give her everything, everything she wanted, as men in love always do. And she trusted him despite herself, as women in love always do.” 275 likes
“A man will always promise to do more than he can do to a woman he cannot understand.” 110 likes
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