The White Princess

Philippa Gregory. S&S/Touchstone, $26.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4516-2609-4
In Gregory’s fifth entry in the Cousins’ War series, marriage unites the upstart House of Tudor with its long-time enemies, the declining House of York, to rule over volatile 1485 England. As Gregory envisions her, narrator Elizabeth of York—sister to the princes imprisoned in the Tower, mother of Henry VIII, grandmother of Elizabeth I—still loves the vanquished Richard III when she dutifully marries his triumphant challenger, Henry VII. The royal pair produces an heir and two spares but mistrust continues to abound, particularly between the two mothers-in-law, who are seemingly determined to fight the Wars of the Roses down to the last petal. Elizabeth must navigate the treacherous waters of marriage, maternity, and mutiny in an age better at betrayal than childbirth. Gregory believably depicts this mostly forgotten queen, her moody husband, and the future Henry VIII, shown here as a charmingly temperamental child. Something about the Tudors brings out the best in Gregory’s portraiture. At this novel’s core lies a political marriage seen in all its complexity, including tender moments, tense negotiations, angry confrontations, and parental worries over predictions that the family line will end with a Virgin Queen. Agent: Anthony Mason. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 07/23/2013
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