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The White Queen

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  158,796 ratings  ·  7,299 reviews
Brother turns on brother. The throne of England is at stake. The deadly Wars of the Roses have begun. . . ."They ruled England before the Tudors, and now internationally bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings the Plantagenets to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women."Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary bea ...more
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published August 18th 2009 by Atria Books
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Kathlyn The recent discovery of the body of Richard III (which has been genetically confirmed to be Richard III) has allowed scientific analysis of the bones …moreThe recent discovery of the body of Richard III (which has been genetically confirmed to be Richard III) has allowed scientific analysis of the bones of the supposed 'Princes in the Tower'. The conclusion is that they are not related and unlikely to be the bones of the two princes.
Debra Petersen (Queen of Historical Fiction) Because the novel is told from the point of view of Elizabeth Woodville, who became the queen of England. She and her family were originally sided wit…moreBecause the novel is told from the point of view of Elizabeth Woodville, who became the queen of England. She and her family were originally sided with the Lancastrians whose symbol was the red rose, but when she married Edward York whose family's symbol was the white rose, she became the white queen. Philippa created the novels title based upon the two factions of Plantagenets who each used a different colored flower to represent their household.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  158,796 ratings  ·  7,299 reviews

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Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Sean Barrs
Jan 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 26, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Excellent follow up. And I do love this family. Good storytelling - especially with the connections to the first book and the subsequent ones. You see the other side of the story which is a sign of a good storyteller. Nice one, Ms. Gregory. Plus there's the secret of the two princes locked in the tower. Did Richard do it? The language is beautiful. I just love reading these re-creations, imagining the beauty and the glow of the language, the scenes and the words. If you love history, and you're ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2), Philippa Gregory

The White Queen is a 2009 historical novel by Philippa Gregory, the first of her series The Cousins' War. The story of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV of England.

Young widow Lady Elizabeth Grey puts herself in the path of King Edward IV to seek his assistance in reclaiming her late husband's estate for her sons, but it is love at first sight for both of them.

They marry in secret, which later puts Edward
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth Woodville was the Queen of Edward IV, the mother of the murdered princes in the tower, and the grandmother of Henry VIII. She played a larger role in the period of the War of the Roses then she is often credited with, and her portrayals in the books have usually been less than sympathetic. This novel covers her story over a span 0f 21 years from the time she is wood by the debonair Edward IV in the midst of the bloody War of the Roses until the eve of the Battle of Bosworth in which Ri ...more
Feb 13, 2011 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
“If there is love enough, then nothing - not nature, not even death itself- can come between two who love each other.”

The White Queen is the sequel to The Lady of the Rivers and they both had their strengths and weaknesses. They each tell the story of a powerful woman in a kingdom ruled by men. These women fight for their lives, their loves and their children - out of a sense of survival as well as out of ambition and a hunger for power.
Even though their stories are this impressive, I often str
The White Queen is the fictional story of the life of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV. Philippa Gregory does her usual fine job of bringing her characters to life and making it enjoyable to read. I don't know how accurate her stories are, or any other writer in this genre for that matter. I was introduced to royal historical fiction by Norah Lofts and have also read Alison Weir and Jean Plaidy, among others. In this book Gregory focuses on the Plantagenet's and The Cousins War period ...more
Charlotte May
After reading The Other Boleyn Girl - I loved Philippa Gregory, and would pick up virtually anything she'd written.
I watched the BBC adaption of The White Queen which I thoroughly enjoyed, so went for the book series. All four that I've read (The Lady of the Rivers, The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter) so far have an incredible focus on the powerful women during the Tudor Court and the War of the Roses. I knew very little about this time period but Gregory makes it easy t
Aug 21, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I really enjoyed The White Queen, it had been a while since I read a book from this period. No one does it like Ms. Gregory!

Very interesting cousins against cousins tales of love, treachery, death, battle won and lost. The ruthlessness of the royalty to stay in power and the individual prices they pay, death of their family, children, themselves. As always the characters are well described and Elizabeth is drawn in great depth. The author makes the characters seem real and the settings are vivi
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-kindle
This is my first book I've read from this author,I've read Elizabeth freemantle books which are really good,who also writes historical books.well what a fantastic read looking forward to the next book.the red Queen in which I watched the programme not so long ago wanted me to read this authors books as it was so good.its was a well written easy to read it's great to get more facts.highly recommend. ...more
Sep 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
I'm honestly worried for the other half-billion novels written by Philippa Gregory.

This novel is only slightly less dull than the (chronological) first, The Lady of the Rivers. Once again it just spans too long a period, meaning that there's not a lot of attachment to what's happening. There are a lot of battles, a ton of births and deaths, and keeping track of claims to the throne is about as easy as keeping track of Australia's Prime Minister.

Our protagonist, Elizabeth - the titular White Quee
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
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gregory is a historian, first. Her Ph.D. from Edinburgh University informs her approach to her fascination with 15th and 16th century Britain. This book is a prelude to many of her novels on Tudor England. It concerns the twenty years beginning in 1464 when the country was still roiled by the War of the Roses, the battle between Plantagenet cousins, York and Lancaster, for England’s throne.

For this novel, Gregory chooses to parallel the folktale of the water “goddess”, Melusina, with the life o
Sonja Arlow
2.5 stars

Let me start by saying its not the author’s fault that every second person in the book is either called Edward or Richard but it made the listening experience a bit confusing at times.

In the past few years I have come around to her Tudor series by listening rather than reading them and they were all without fail very entertaining and educational.

But this one did not grip me until the last 1/4 when the story focused on the mystery of the missing princes in the Tower of London.

There was a
A.G. Howard
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first Philippa Gregory novel, and I was swept away by her well-researched details and plot. I've always been fascinated by the War of the Roses, and to step into Queen Elizabeth's shoes was a delight. She's such a strong character, and watching her quest for power via manipulations and an indomitable will was mesmerizing. I loved it. However, I tried reading "The White Princess" and couldn't relate to that main character at all; she seemed much weaker IMO. So I'm hesitant to continue this par ...more
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
Sarah u
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
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

Not even the subject matter can save this disaster.
Alyce (At Home With Books)
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Shirley Revill
Absolutely love books by Philippa Gregory and I have never been disappointed yet. Storytelling at it's best. Recommended. ...more
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Enjoyed the book a great deal although so many things made me mad of course. This always happens when you have a lot of jerks that need a good beat down or in those days beading before they cause trouble. It seems they get it a little too late! I love the first season and I own it:) I like it better than the book because I can actually see the players. I can't wait to read more of her books! ...more
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Tv show canceled by bbc any chance of starz making season 2? 30 1088 Apr 26, 2017 04:20PM  
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Philippa Gregory is one of the world’s foremost historical novelists. She wrote her first ever novel, Wideacre, when she was completing her PhD in eighteenth-century literature and it sold worldwide, heralding a new era for historical fiction.

Her flair for blending history and imagination developed into a signature style and Philippa went on to write many bestselling novels, including The Other Bo

Other books in the series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1; Cousins War #3)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3; Cousins War #2)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7; Cousins War #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

Articles featuring this book

Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn...
70 likes · 33 comments
“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.” 319 likes
“A man will always promise to do more than he can do to a woman he cannot understand.” 141 likes
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