Misfit's Reviews > The White Princess

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory
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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). Elizabeth, mom and all those younger sisters come to court with the expectation that she’s going to marry Henry Tudor (view spoiler), but Henry and mom Margaret Beaufort don’t seem to be in any hurry--->>>real spoiler (view spoiler).

"I'm not very fond of spoiled meats, I don't want another man's leaving. The thought of Richard the Usurper pawing you about and you fawning on him for the crown makes me quite sick."

A peach of a man is Henry, and mother Margaret is some piece of work. Elizabeth, being spineless and dull as dishwater (at least as written by Ms. Gregory), makes the best of her marriage popping out the heir and the spare and other boring stuff for 300 or so pages.

"Two years pass before we conceive another child..."

"Instead I will be the shape that my husband's mother wants: a rounded fertile pear of a woman, a vessel for Tudor seed, a pot.

There is still the mystery of the fate of Elizabeth’s younger brothers Edward and Richard, who disappeared from the Tower of London never to be seen again, and not a body to be found anywhere. Which of course leads to people pretending to be one of the lost boys (or are they pretenders?), including one Perkin Warbeck. What does a loving sister to do if she recognizes her lost brother (or does she recognize him?), and does her loyalty go with the sibling or her husband and father of her children?

Should be interesting stuff, right? Well in this case, with this author, it’s not. Boring, boring, boring. The Elizabeth that Ms. Gregory gives us is just a spineless doormat who parrots everything her husband says – no original dialogue to be found coming out of her mouth. Add to that mix the author’s very bad habit of clubbing the reader over the head with people’s names and titles (does someone really think in their private thoughts about their half-brother as “Thomas Grey, Mother's boy”?), and of course the mind-numbing repetitiveness of her prose all makes for a very underwhelming read. Speaking of that repetition, I did get a giggle out of this quote from Margaret:

“Richard put them to death," she repeats, as if repetition will make it so.

I guess if you repeat something enough times, folks will start to believe it’s true like so many folks believe Ms. Gregory’s version of history is the real deal. Not.

And the big twist over the fate of the young princes in the tower and who done them in as Ms. Gregory sees it? ---->>>>real spoiler this time (view spoiler). Bah!

Do I have anything good to say about it? The font was large with generous spacing between lines, very short chapters and at least we didn't have Henry VII drinking the blood of sanguine young men.

From the author's notes (two whole pages!):

This book does not claim to reveal the truth either: it is a fiction based on many studies of these fascinating times and gives, I hope, an in into the untold stories and the unknown characters with affection and respect.

Sorry, but Henry Tudor didn't exactly get much respect in the first part of this book :/
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Reading Progress

07/27/2013 marked as: currently-reading
07/27/2013 page 2
0.0% "Mermaid/fish woman count: 1"
07/27/2013 page 8
1.0% "The House of York eats its own young like a nervous cat.

"
07/27/2013 page 15
2.0% "Oh noes! The peeps from The Royal House of York have to settle for the second best rooms in the palace. Ebil Margaret gets the best digs."
07/27/2013 page 18
3.0% "fishy woman count 2." 21 comments
07/27/2013 page 25
4.0% "We are defeated, my hopes of happiness and being a beloved Queen of England went down under the hooves of the Stanley horsemen commanded by her husband.

Now that's the kind of prose one expects from a best selling author. Not.

"
07/27/2013 page 29
5.0% "I think they don't want a host of Yorks beside the throne, so close to the crown.

Poor Bess is sniveling over not getting an invite to the coronation.

"
07/27/2013 page 36
6.0% "As you know bob, Thomas Grey, Mother's boy, is to come home later.

Two sisters talking about their half-brother?

"
07/27/2013 page 43
7.0% "Henry's first Parliament is busy in their work, reversing the laws of Richard, pulling his signature from the statute books just as they pulled the coronet from his helmet."
07/27/2013 marked as: abandoned
08/03/2013 marked as: currently-reading
08/03/2013 page 60
11.0% "I'm not very fond of spoiled meats, I don't want another man's leaving. The thought of Richard the Usurper pawing you about and you fawning on him for the crown makes me quite sick." 2 comments
08/03/2013 page 61
11.0% ".am I to force you? Or will you lift that pretty gown for me and we can get the business don and return to your mother's dinner. Perhaps you will dance for us again? Like the slut that you are?"
08/03/2013 "Margaret waits up for Henry to come home from his *cough* assignations *cough* so she can see him to bed and kiss him good night."
08/03/2013 page 70
12.0% "Your side lost at Bosworth...you are the spoils of war."
08/03/2013 page 78
14.0% "Instead I will be the shape that my husband's mother wants: a rounded fertile pear of a woman, a vessel for Tudor seed, a pot.

What all the fashionable best selling authors deliver these days: drivel.

"
08/03/2013 page 94
17.0% "They me Henry the Conqueror, as if I were William of Normandy - a foreign bastard come again. As if I am another foreign bastard."
08/03/2013 page 95
17.0% "Nine *as you know Bobs* in one stinking paragraph."
08/03/2013 page 110
20.0% "This could be just another battle in the Cousins' War. Henry could be just an episode.

Episode?

" 22 comments
08/03/2013 page 147
27.0% ""yule log"?"
08/03/2013 page 200
36.0% "Edward? Edward, my brother? Edward, Prince of Wales?

No, Edward of Warwick, your cousin. It's a pity you have such a big family.

"
08/03/2013 page 218
40.0% "Why would Henry refer to the two boys as Edward, Prince of Wales and Richard, Duke of York? Isn't Arthur Prince of Wales now?" 2 comments
08/03/2013 page 229
42.0% "I dress for my coronation and reflect that it is a different task preparing to be queen than it was preparing to be a bride.

This is why she gets the big bucks.

"
08/03/2013 page 257
47.0% "Skim skim skimming along. Pretty easy with two and three page chapters"
08/03/2013 page 261
47.0% "Two years pass before we conceive another child...

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"
08/03/2013 page 264
48.0% "I am silent for a moment, thinking of my husband surrounded in his mind by many boys, nameless boys, ghost boys.

And can I say how sick I am of E's favorite phrase of I don't know?

" 2 comments
08/03/2013 page 363
66.0% "I walk in a circle of silence, as if I am held like a leech in a jar of thick glass.

Hope this is over soon, I'm ready for a long nap...

"
08/03/2013 page 366
67.0% ""I repeat like a fool."

Just who is the repetitive fool? Hmmmmm?

"
08/03/2013 page 433
79.0% "Of course, the boy's wife had been cruelly, amazingly deceived.Her husband wore a silk shirt and was blinded by beautiful tailoring. She could not see that beneath it was a common little boy from Flanders. Easily deluded, amazingly deluded, she saw the shirt and thought he was a prince and married him." 2 comments
08/04/2013 page 465
85.0% "1498. Isn't Perkin about 24 by now? Why does everyone keep calling him the boy?"
08/04/2013 page 468
86.0% "I have to giggle at these short chapters and the headers telling me where and what year. Three two page chapters back to back, all Summer 1498."
08/04/2013 page 470
86.0% "Even the servants call Perkin the boy."
08/04/2013 page 491
90.0% "Gah. Now we're back to the curse."
08/04/2013 page 495
90.0% "Henry snaps his fingers."
08/04/2013 page 502
92.0% ""Richard put them to death," she repeats, as if repetition will make it so.

About repetition making things so...

"
08/04/2013 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 101) (101 new)


message 1: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Head on over to Tanzanite's blog for a look at the cover she's spotted.


message 2: by Rio (Lynne) (new) - added it

Rio (Lynne) I just read someone's review and it starts with "After Elizabeth's lover Richard III dies, she has to marry his murderer" oh geez. The liberties and those who believe them...'shaking my head'


message 3: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Noooooooooooooo! I'm afraid to go and look at it.


Samantha I think I need an "i-am-done-with-this-author" shelf.


message 5: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit No lie. I don't dare read this. I doubt my blood pressure could take it. That said, we do need someone to take a hit for the team.


Samantha Don't look at me, I suffered through the first three.


message 7: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Samantha wrote: "Don't look at me, I suffered through the first three."

I'm hoping Michele will step up to the plate for us.


message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris So this means the series on Starz will be fun to watch in a bad way?


message 9: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit I did watch the first two episodes before they got yanked off youtube. Meh.


Crystal Starr Light I love the shelves, particularly "housework is better than this".


message 11: by Misfit (last edited Jul 27, 2013 02:12PM) (new) - added it

Misfit Seriously, vacuuming and mopping floors was better than this.


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris Misfit wrote: "I did watch the first two episodes before they got yanked off youtube. Meh."

Darn, I was hoping for some laughs.


message 13: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Don't worry, the costumes and settings are seriously anachronistic. There's some stuff out there, just google it, or go to TWQ thread at the Richard III group.


message 14: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Huston When housework -- that miserable drudgery! -- sounds better than what you're reading at the moment, it's time to pitch the book into the dustbin. And that's sad.


Samantha I'm surprised to see you tried it. I keep being tempted by it since so little is written on Elizabeth of York.


message 16: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit This was so bad it makes Worth's book on Elizabeth look good. And Worth's book was bad enough.


Samantha Ha! I haven't read anything about her that's been a good read. Poor girl.


message 18: by Rebecca (new) - added it

Rebecca Huston Yep, it is sad. Because from the nonfiction that I have read about her, Elizabeth of York was a genuinely likeable woman. I read that Worth novel, and it was junk.


Lisa It's terrible, isn't it? I had to force myself to read to the end. Think I'm giving up on PG from now on. the Red Queen was even worse. I tried to see the fascination/appreciation of this series, but it just got ridiculous: bad writing, inaccuracies that drove me insane (I'm a Historian, so inaccuracies generally make me want to fork out my eyes...). I couldn't bring myself to go for the the Lady of the Rivers or the Kingmakers Daughter. Just awful.


message 20: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Yet she still gets rave reviews and her books sell like hotcakes.

I suspect we're very much in the minority.


Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship The first few pages of The Other Boleyn Girl was all the PG I could take. The writing is just so bad! (And it doesn't help to know she messes with the facts, either.)


message 22: by Sarahu (new) - added it

Sarahu "Heroine is a walking pity party" is my new favourite shelf name.

I am definitely passing on this one. Most authors get better with every book, but PG gets worse.


Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~* Whew...Walmart had it on sale and I almost picked it up,but thought I'd wait for the paperback. Dont think III do that either. As bad as the book by Alison Weir?


Samantha I don't find Weir's novels nearly as bad as Gregory's. At least then she's not passing off her opinion as nonfiction. But that's just my humble opinion :-)


message 25: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea Zsigmond Great shelf names! Sound like a terrible read. I am thinking it best to pass on this one. Thanks for the heads up! :)


message 26: by Rio (Lynne) (new) - added it

Rio (Lynne) I just got an email from the library. They just got a copy in for me. I'll be back in LA to get to get it this weekend, I'll have 2 days to read it, so if I can't get past page 50 it's ok.


message 27: by Rio (Lynne) (new) - added it

Rio (Lynne) The Tudor Rose I have this book about Elizabeth. I've heard it's good.


message 28: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit @ Sarah I already have a hero walking PP shelf, so equality and all that.

@Andrea and Sandi, library only.

@Samantha, I liked Weir's Innocent Traitor, but the Eleanor book was dire.

@Rio, good luck with it. The House of York references over take the fishy woman mentions. If I was playing the drinking game, I would have been pie-eyed by page 25.

I've read the Barnes book. Not bad from what I can recall. There's also The Dragon & the Rose by Roberta Gellis and of course Worth's book which I do not recommend.


message 29: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Oh ho. Just spotted this.

"Her added skill is that her writing flows effortlessly, to the point where some readers have told Gregory they are convinced she writes under hypnosis."

*head desk*


message 30: by Domino (new)

Domino Does it help that your "as you know Bob" and "so you think you're a historian" shelves put a chortle or two into my Sunday?

:)


message 31: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Domino wrote: "Does it help that your "as you know Bob" and "so you think you're a historian" shelves put a chortle or two into my Sunday?

:)"


Yes. It. Does. Always happy to bring on a giggle or two.


message 32: by Rio (Lynne) (new) - added it

Rio (Lynne) Misfit wrote: "Oh ho. Just spotted this.

"Her added skill is that her writing flows effortlessly, to the point where some readers have told Gregory they are convinced she writes under hypnosis."

*head desk*"


Wow! Sad. As for the Worth book, I don't think I made it 20 pages.


Samantha I haven't read Worth's based on everyone's comments about it, but I had to force myself to finish those by Plaidy & Barnes. Both are just bad. Someone needs to do Elizabeth justice.


message 34: by Willow (new) - added it

Willow I love your 'show don't tell list.' Dan Brown writes like that. It makes a book very tedious to read.


message 35: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Samantha wrote: "I haven't read Worth's based on everyone's comments about it, but I had to force myself to finish those by Plaidy & Barnes. Both are just bad. Someone needs to do Elizabeth justice."

I know Worth has her fans, but her take on R3 is so pure, perfect he's Richard-sue, and her baddies are the snarling, sweaty palms and stinking breath variety.


Orsolya HAHAHAHAHAH! The shelf titles! I am literally laughing out loud. Thank you!

Also: I HATE large font and large spacing...


message 37: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit My sleep deprived eyes didn't mind the large font yesterday :p

Not all those shelves were created yesterday. some have been used before.


Orsolya I just feel like it is used to stretch content and make the book seem longer when the ACTUAL content is lacking...


message 39: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit I agree.


message 40: by Chris (new)

Chris Orsolya wrote: "I just feel like it is used to stretch content and make the book seem longer when the ACTUAL content is lacking..."

It's people do with papers in school.


message 41: by Nicole~ (last edited Jul 29, 2013 10:35PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nicole~ Chris wrote: "Orsolya wrote: "I just feel like it is used to stretch content and make the book seem longer when the ACTUAL content is lacking..."

It's people do with papers in school."


Totally agree about the stretch marks on this book, filler with very little Elizabeth content- she's mostly reacting to prime events and not proactive at all. And the writing...YA novice at best.


Orsolya Wow... I'm on page 24 and already losing my mind. This is terrible!


message 43: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Are the Royal House of York mentions driving you batty? Club me over the head with it :/


Orsolya Everything is driving me batty. Including "Richard promising to marry me after the battle"... blah blah blah. Magic blah blah love blah blah.


message 45: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Didn't you love the *we were going to have a son and name him Arthur*?


Orsolya "...like Arthur of Camelot!"


message 47: by Rio (Lynne) (new) - added it

Rio (Lynne) I thought you yielded at page 50? I returned mine to the Libary today.


message 48: by Misfit (new) - added it

Misfit Rio (Lynne) wrote: "I thought you yielded at page 50? I returned mine to the Libary today."

Fool that I am, I didn't return it and picked it up again today. Skimming a lot, but I'll get through it.


message 49: by Domino (new)

Domino Misfit wrote: "Rio (Lynne) wrote: "I thought you yielded at page 50? I returned mine to the Libary today."

Fool that I am, I didn't return it and picked it up again today. Skimming a lot, but I'll get through it."


Well.

Then you'll be sure of the calibre of its crappage.

Have chocolate and your favourite beverages on hand for an earned reward afterwards.


message 50: by Joan (new)

Joan Szechtman I'd love to see Brian Wainwright write about EoY. I can see it written in the same vein as his delightful The Adventures of Alianore Audley.

Suffice it to say the I'm not a PG fan. I couldn't get through The Other Boleyn Girl. She's probably crying all the way to the bank. :p


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