Red queen, blue queen, green queen....oh yeah, WHITE queen

Not so long ago, A Reader's Respite finally got around to reading and reviewing Philippa Gregory's The Other Queen. Now we've finally moved on to her newest historical fiction novel, this one entitled The White Queen.


As most of you probably know by now, The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the oh-so-beautiful commoner who captured the heart of King Edward IV and elevated herself to the Queen of England.

Lizzy and Ed, according to Gregory, had a pretty happy marriage (despite Ed's penchant for screwing anything in a skirt) but a rocky reign. The Wars of the Roses were winding down, but rebellions were common and Ed was away a lot trying to keep his throne.

In the end, Ed met his maker and his younger brother assumed the throne as King Richard III. Ed and Lizzy's two sons, however, met an uncertain end and are known to history as the Princes in the Tower.

So how does Gregory measure up in this newest novel?

We assume you're interested in this novel because you loved Gregory's break-through novel, The Other Boleyn Girl. The cover of this newest book, as a matter of fact, still issues the proclamation: From the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL. That the publisher still relies a five year old novel as a chief selling point should tell you something important.

The sad fact is that Gregory has never been able to recapture that same magic. The White Queen fall short.

That Gregory plays fast and loose with historical fact isn't a deep, dark secret. Many historians and respected novelists have already pointed out the myriad of glaring errors present in this work so we won't bore you with the same repetition Gregory subjected us to throughout the book (Melusine anyone?).

A painting of Melusine. If you're gonna read this book, get used to her. There are roughly 6.412 references to her in The White Queen. (Kidding. We have no idea how many references there actually are. But a lot.)



So does A Reader's Respite have anything at all good to say about this novel?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact. We have to acknowledge that Gregory's heart is in the right place. She has a soft spot for women who lived in a time where women had little, if any, control over their own lives. Gregory attempts to reveal their inner strengths and we applaud that.

Additionally, Gregory's mass-market popularity serves as an introduction to historical fiction for many readers. Granted, her history may be flawed and her research sloppy, but those readers who truly fall in love with the genre will eventually find themselves reading what long-time historical fiction fans call "the masters": Penman, Dunnett, Higginbotham, and Chadwick, amongst others.

So for that, P.G., we thank you.



Now you just knew we weren't going to keep this one taking up valuable shelf space around here.
So if you'd like to take a peek and see what her latest effort entails, leave us a comment and on October 5th, we'll draw a random winner who will receive this pristine, hard cover edition of The White Queen.

International entrants always welcome and don't forget to check back here to see if you won!

41 comments:

  1. Let it take up space on my shelf, please ruthjoec at aoldotcom

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  2. I keep meaning to get into her to see what people love about her. Though I have heard plenty about the inaccuracies. Still, she seems to be much favored.


    Valorie
    morbidromantic@gmail.com

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  3. You either love her or hate her, Michele!

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  4. I haven't read her yet, but I want to! Please enter me.

    je2kids(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  5. I have heard similar reactions to this book so I'm intrigued, of course! I agree with you on Dunnett and Penman...masters!

    Thanks for the contest!

    Michelle

    miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

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  6. Sounds pretty interesting. I think I could find a home for it in one of my shelves.

    Zommbie1 at gmail dot com

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  7. I did enjoy her first book, or at least that one that brought her fame but as you rightly pointed, I tend to think that she's a one-time wonder (or a one-trick pony). I read The Queen's Fool and the Boleyn Inheritance afterward and the magic was gone.

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  8. No need to enter me, I have the book, but I find her fun to read. Okay, so I've read only The Other Boleyn Girl -- but I'm still looking forward to this one.

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  9. I've read some reviews of this book and I'm interested in reading it. Please enter me for the draw.

    linna.hsu at gmail dot com

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  10. I agree that this book still falls short of TOBG, but I thought it was MUCH better than the rest of her Tudor books (I haven't read the non-court books).

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  11. Hi there:) Don't enter me, I have it already and am planning to read it (when??)-eventually...I suppose that after all that's been said about it- I won't be running to it next:) But, because I usually love P.G.,I'm still curious about this one. Thanks!

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  12. Please enter me. Thanks!

    amanda n.
    fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. Like you, I've read some negative comments about this book. But I enjoyed some of Gregory's earlier novels. Would like to give this one try. Thanks for the giveaway.

    lcbrower40(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. One of my neighbors insists I have to try Philippa Gregory's work, so I'd like to be entered, even though this isn't her best. Thanks!

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  15. Thank you for the entry.

    freda.mans[at]sympatico.ca

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  16. I would be interested in giving The White Queen a try.
    Thanks
    lilwhiteninja at yahoo dot com

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  17. I have always wanted to read The Other Boleyn Girl.
    Well it is sad that this one didn't work for you :)

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  18. I've already read it, so no need to enter me. I enjoyed the parts of the storyline that didn't include Melusine, and would have prefered the story be without the magical, mystical aspect.

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  19. I'm curious about this one...please count me in.

    karen k
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. Oh, I would like to read this!
    My girlfriend even more!
    So, if I win it's a "double win"!
    :)

    carlos_durao AT hotmail.com

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  21. I haven't read a Gregory book in a couple of years but I've been wanting to give this a try.

    Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  22. I have only read "The Other Boleyn Girl", like many others, I assume. I'd love to read more of Gregory's work! And like you said in your post, I'd like to read some of the Historical Fiction "masters" too! I would be very happy starting with this book :)

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  23. Great post, I agree. The Other Boleyn Girl was great, but other P. Greggory books I've read -- like The Constant Princess -- aren't nearly as interesting.

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  24. I really want to read this. She seems to be a very popular author.

    ahazraDOT88ATgmailDOTCOM

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  25. OMG, I want this book sooo bad. I really hope I win. Count me in. :D

    ~Briana
    thebookpixie[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  26. So. Ent'ring.

    muchdeepmeaning @ gmail . com

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  27. Have read so much about this book and also entered for so many giveaways without much luck for this book! lets hope I strike it lucky this time.

    Mystica

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  28. Oh, I want in!
    :)

    jafantu AT gmail DOT com

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  29. You are the best!

    educhico AT gmail DOT com

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  30. And still one more!
    Put my email on the giveaway, please.

    o_rei_de_havana
    @
    hotmail.com

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  31. Well, I was unaware of the story of The White Queen.
    Let's hope I can discover it through this book!
    Best regards!

    Maria D

    dr.strangelove.vs.citizen.kane AT gmail DOT com

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  32. Oh, I want in!
    :)

    catarina DOT magoito AT gmail DOT com

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  33. I've been wanting to read this ever since I heard about it. Count me in.

    Marie
    utah91960(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. My friends always say that I should read this author, but I haven't got to it yet!
    Maybe now is the time!
    ;)

    39 DOT 5susy AT gmail DOT com

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  35. Hi there!
    More giveaways!
    So nice, I'm signing up!

    goncalo DOT mil AT gmail DOT com

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  36. Count me in, please!

    Best regards!

    joanapatriciadias AT gmail DOT com

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  37. And the last one
    ;)

    tanitalves AT sapo DOT pt

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  38. I've enjoyed every Philippa Gregory book that I've read & am sure this one won't disappoint.

    Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  39. My shelves are packed, but there's always room for one more book! Count me in, please. Thanks.

    gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

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  40. I would love to squeeze this into my overflowing bookshelf! I enjoyed The Queen's Fool and would like to read more of her!

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Fire away!