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The White Princess (The Cousins' War #5)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  24,754 Ratings  ·  2,293 Reviews
Adapted for the STARZ original series, The White Princess.

Love to the Death.

When Henry Tudor picks up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth field, he knows he must marry the princess of the enemy house—Elizabeth of York—to unify a country divided by war for more than three decades. But his bride is still in love with his dead enemy, and her mother and half of Engla
ebook, 544 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by Touchstone (first published 2013)
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Kelly I started with The Kingmaker's Daughter, and then went to The White Queen, then The Red Queen, and now The White Princess. I think if you continue to…moreI started with The Kingmaker's Daughter, and then went to The White Queen, then The Red Queen, and now The White Princess. I think if you continue to bear in mind that the Kingmaker's Daughter, White Queen, and Red Queen are essentially telling the same story from three different viewpoints, it may not matter which one you read first. I would think reading this one after those three would make more sense, and flesh out the actions of Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort in a better way, as well as understanding Elizabeth of York toward the end of this book.

I actually liked The Kingmaker's Daughter best, and I did not care much for The Red Queen, but I don't care for Margaret Beaufort, and found her the most difficult to understand. I'm waiting on The Lady of the Rivers to become available from my library, and am looking forward to finishing this series. (less)
Brandy Loutherback Since it runs on Starz like the previous adaptation it's tv-ma for heavy sexual content,violence,language excreta.

Community Reviews

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Nov 15, 2011 Kara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

Hey there, Elizabeth of York, what happened to the princes in the Tower? What happened at Bosworth? Where were your father’s allies? Who killed you uncle Anthony? Who killed your uncle George?

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

Who is your mother plotting for? What is your mother-in-law praying for? What is your husband doing? Where are your cousins? Where are your sisters?

I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

What’s going on in Scotland? What’s
Bookdragon Sean
Elizabeth of York is completely destitute. Her mother is in hiding and her brothers are all dead; her beloved uncle was slain at Bosworth, and only she is left to face her enemies. And they want to marry her; they wish to use her Plantagenet blood to solidify their less than weak claim to the throne of England. She has no choice but to agree if she wants to live and become a queen, her decision will unify the houses of York and Lancaster, of Tudor and Plantagenet.

A Queenship for Peace

Great series. Good storytelling. Makes you constantly look at the family trees to understand all the connections. So much good drama.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about pl
The White Princess is the fifth book in Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War series, each book focusing on a different female lead; this book being the POV of Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville (whose story was told in The White Queen), and wife to Henry VII. The book begins after the battle at Bosworth field, and as interpreted by Ms. Gregory has young Elizabeth pining over her lost lover, Richard (her uncle!!)(view spoiler) ...more

I must admit I couldn’t finish this one. I gave up at the 57% mark. Still, I feel it’s worth reviewing and explaining why I couldn’t get any further.

So what went wrong? Was The White Princess filled with absolutely awful writing? Well, no. It wasn’t dire, by any means. It was a far better read than The Other Queen or The Virgin’s Lover – the real slumps in Philippa Gregory’s set of Tudor themed novels. Was it a case of terrible characterisations, á la The Other Boleyn Girl? Again, no, although t
I've had mixed luck with Philippa Gregory, pretty much half and half. It's either amazing or at least very interesting & well-told (The Wideacre trilogy, The Constant Princess) or it's been so-so to downright dull and/or frustrating in a bad way (A Respectable Trade, The Changeling, and THIS ONE.) It's this off-and-on experience that put her back on my to-read list after a rocky start with Trade and keeps her there. She can tell a great story and create unforgettable characters ( Wideacre Wi ...more
I wanted to give this book a higher rating as I love the way that Gregory tells a story. She certainly knows how to keep you turning the pages even though you already know what happens next.

Unfortunately, I just can't agree with her interpretation of the facts in this book. According to Gregory, Henry Tudor (the man who finally brought peace to England and ended the Wars of the Roses) is a bad guy.

Gregory doesn't seem to like Henry VII one little bit because well... he's just not a sexy guy.
It does not matter that in my heart I am passionate and independent. My true self will be hidden and history will never speak of me except as the daughter of one king, the wife of another, and the mother of a third.

I absolutely loved this book. I have now read seventeen books by this author, and The White Princess is definitely in my top five. Philippa introduced me to the Tudor's court and the Cousins' war, which in turn led me to books by Alison Weir and Hillary Mantel. I am suprised to see th
Aug 26, 2013 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, b3r
Where I got the book: my local library.

I've been asked, more than once, why I read Philippa Gregory if her books annoy me. (I may have expressed that opinion once or twice.) One of the reasons is that many interesting conversations happen about Gregory's books, notably among readers who like to nitpick dispute the accuracy of her historical claims, and it's a shame to get left out. Like it or not, the Plantagenet and Tudor eras are a major locus of interest for HF readers (I actually prefer the
Outshined by the Battle of Bosworth, Henry VII, and the beginning of the Tudor dynasty and her son own, the future King Henry VIII; Elizabeth of York has a seemingly quiet voice in history. Philippa Gregory attempts to strengthen her cry in “The White Princes”, the final book in the “Cousins’ War” series.

I am not a fan of Gregory’s claims of historical accuracy and I compare her novels to the same realm as Carolly Erikson’s “historical entertainments”. Therefore, I don’t expect much historically
Feb 14, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not gonna lie, I love Philippa Gregory's books. They are exciting, intriguing and I feel I learn a lot (please remember they ARE historical FICTION) but I learn much from them. This book in the Cousins' War series was very interesting regarding Elizabeth, Princess of York. She was introduced in the White Queen and I believe one other of the novels. The former love of the now dead King Richard, she has been betrothed to Henry Tudor and marries him (giving birth to sons Arthur, Harry - later Henry ...more
Jul 27, 2013 Bonnie-ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I truly don't know where to start with how much I disliked this book so I'll actually begin with the few positives.

Bianca Amato's narration was extraordinary and the only feature that allowed me to finish this novel.I have listened to books she has read in the past where I wasn't in love with her voice, but for this book, her voice was well-paced and soothing to listen to. She got the gender voices done without over-exaggerating the differences. Truly, I would not have finished this book (and a
I am not even sure where to start with this trainwreck of a novel. I almost didn't even read it after being disappointed with the first three in this series. I had passed on #4, but couldn't resist the story of Elizabeth of York. Little did I know that this book is really the story of her brother, Richard Duke of York, told from her insipid first person point of view.

If one is going to write the story of Perkin Warbeck or Richard of York, why not just write that story? Instead, Gregory insists o
Jan 02, 2017 Asha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Philippa Gregory is pretty much the reason I read historical fiction. I owe my (limited) knowledge of the Tudor line to her. Once again, she wove a tale of romance, betrayal, the joys and sorrows of being a high woman in court, and what it means to put family, or a throne, above all else. What's more, this particular tale has a bit of mystery to it because no one knows for sure that "the boy" who claimed to be the lost Prince Richard of York was or wasn't the prince. However, it is obvious that

Christina Volkoff
Jul 30, 2013 Christina Volkoff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to the previous entries into this series, the White Princess falls woefully flat. I understand that Elizabeth of York is supposed to feel trapped in this marriage of hers, but the pre-marriage "rape" and the back and forth affection of Henry just completely killed this book for me. Gregory follows three set patterns for telling this story and they are: 1) Elizabeth and Henry start to make some progress on their affection for each other and Elizabeth says something that makes Henry not t ...more
Brittany B.
This is my most anticipated book of the new year!! A mainstream historical novel of Elizabeth of York!! I'm such a dork, but this woman is truly a fascinating creature!!!

-Mother to Henry VIII,
-Sister to the lost/murdered princes in the tower,
-Beautiful eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville,
-Supposed mistress/lover to her blood uncle, the infamous and doomed Richard III,
-Ultimately, her marriage ends the terrible Cousins' War.

I had no idea this was Gregory's next book! So excite
Aug 07, 2013 L'aura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I give up. I do think Gregory is pretty good at writing a juicy guilty pleasure when she wants to, but when she writes books just because she has a fee the results are just tiresome -- worst part is, I'm afraid most of her novels are written because she has a fee. This one has a main character I just felt like slapping, despite sort-of linking her in the previous novels. I just pretended I never saw a picture of Elizabeth of York while reading how radiantly beautiful she was, pity I read it basi ...more
Sep 15, 2013 S rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My main qualm with this book - as other reviewers have said - is that Elizabeth of York came across as boring, passive, and utterly flat. Mostly, she sits around and mopes, is afraid of how people view her inherent family relations, fights with her husband, and has babies. Her tensions with Lady Margaret Beaufort are not interesting and her on-again-off-again relationship with Henry VII is neither believable nor intriguing. Her inner struggle must have been great, but we see none of it. There is ...more
Carole Roman
Aug 10, 2013 Carole Roman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed various theories presented by this book. You can't expect someone to write about the 14th and 15th centuries with modern sensibilities. If Henry did, in fact rape his future wife, would that be in keeping of the brutal times they lived in? And how come no one is shocked or mentioning the incestuous relationship between uncle and niece? These were horrible times, when women were nothing, a man could do anything to his wife and she was nothing more than an object. The fact is th ...more
Susan Johnson
Jan 26, 2013 Susan Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying that I enjoy Phillippa Gregory's books. I do think her Cousins series is weaker than her Tudor series but it's still enjoyable. It's nice to read how women have influenced history with their limited powers. But this book was drivel. It was like reading a National Enquirer version of Henry VII's life.

The book debunks any idea that Henry deserved to be King. He is portrayed as weak. unlikable, clueless as a leader, a mother's boy and a rapist. That's just the beginning. Appa
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

The Cousins' War series continues with the story of Elizabeth of York - granddaughter to Jacquetta Woodville, narrator of Lady of the Rivers (book three in the series), daughter of the protagonist from The White Queen (book one), daughter-in-law to the main character of The Red Queen (book two), and niece to Anne Neville, the focus of The Kingmaker's Daughter (which is book four). Though the series is not completely told in chronologic
Jun 21, 2016 Ivana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book should be called I don't know or about a boy, though that one is already taken. My ears are literally bleeding from all the repetition. But king Henry VII kind of grow on me.
Update: Review is finally on my blog
Rachel Swords
Oh, Philippa Gregory. You started out as a decent writer, you really did. I forgave your historical inaccuracies in "The Other Boleyn Girl" because that book was (and is) so darned entertaining. "The Constant Princess," "The Boleyn Inheritance," "The Queen's Fool," "The Other Queen," and "Earthly Joys" are all good too. So, several years ago, when you announced you'd be starting a new series about the women involved with the War of the Roses (whatever happened to the announced Jane Seymour book, ...more
Aug 26, 2013 Nattie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet again another PG tale that I couldn't wait to end, when it finally did; I almost cried with joy.

I like Philippa Gregory's books, they are quite often very good, but I haven't read one yet that wasn't overflowing with annoyances.

In this one, Henry VII is so paranoid, that it became nauseating. His position was understandable, but I grew weary of the constant worrying and nagging and his eyes popping out of their sockets every other page. He asked Elizabeth the same questions over and over aga
Mike Dixon
Aug 29, 2013 Mike Dixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phillipa Gregory set herself a hard task when writing about the court of Henry VII. The guy was dull. He didn't wage war, have numerous extramarital affairs and he didn't chop off the heads of unfaithful wives. Henry was a competent administrator who sorted out his country's financial problems and brought peace to a troubled realm. That's not a good basis for an exciting historical novel.
I guess that is one of the reasons why the book got such mixed reviews. I have always had a lot of respect fo
Rio (Lynne)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
*Spoilers* (sort of/mild spoilers/is it even possible to have spoilers for historical fiction??)

I don't really want to do an official review for this, because, as you can probably guess by the rating, I don't have much praise for it and I feel really unfair wholly criticising books without praise, but....I really just need to...rant about this book.

The White Princess is the daughter of The White Queen (currently airing on TV right now) -- which means that it follows Elizabeth of York, Henry VII
Melissa Winterman
May 21, 2013 Melissa Winterman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
Another treasure lovingly written by Philippa Gregory, this book is about Queen Elizabeth of England, wife of Henry VII and the treaturous path that led her to the throne. The eldest daughter of Edward of England [Lancaster], and an English Queen of low birth, Elizabeth joins with Henry VII to start a new dynasty. Together, they would have two sons [the eldest, the golden boy, Prince Aurthur, destined for the throne; and the notorious Prince Henry, destined for the church], and two daughters [t ...more
Ashley Marsh
Nov 11, 2016 Ashley Marsh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2016
I've been reading Philippa Gregory for nearly ten years. If I had started with this book, I probably would have never picked up another. I'm truly surprised that I didn't love this. The White Queen is my absolute favorite of her novels, and I expected this story about Elizabeth Woodville's daughter to be equally interesting. I was so, so wrong. NOTHING happened. Everyone was emotionally distant. Even Margaret Beaufort, who merited her own boring book, The Red Queen, lacked personality. I didn't ...more
The Lit Bitch
Jul 10, 2013 The Lit Bitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved Gregory’s storytelling! She is truly the master of Tudor era lit! I can see why everyone calls her the Queen of Tudor Historic Fiction! This novel was my first ever Gregory novel. So I was of course concerned that I would be lost in the story and series but she made it easy to follow along and understand a difficult and confusing period in history.

She has obviously done her research on the period and knows Tudor history backward and forward. This novel is of course part histor
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Dangerous Inheritance
  • The Queen's Secret (Queens of England, #7)
  • The Boleyn King (Boleyn Trilogy, #1)
  • Royal Mistress
  • The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois, #1)
  • Queen's Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, #1)
  • The Forbidden Queen
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)
  • The Rose of York: Fall from Grace (The Rose of York Trilogy, #3)
  • The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5)
  • The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile
  • The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England
  • Venus in Winter
  • The Tudor Rose
  • Blood Royal
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 White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #4; The Cousins' War #4)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #7; The Cousins' War #6)

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“Fortune's wheel takes you very high and then throws you very low, and there is nothing you can do but face the turn of it with courage.” 18 likes
“Sometimes we win; sometimes we lose. The main thing is that we always, we always go on.” 16 likes
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