Sunday, July 7, 2013

The White Queen

I am so freaking excited for the new Starz series The White Queen.  It is beginning on August 10th and will be 10 episodes.  For my readers in other countries, please no spoilers!  I understand it is already airing on the BBC.  But I would love to know what you think of it so far.  To pique your interest, here's the trailer.

Doesn't that look exciting?  I watched The Tudors a few years ago and absolutely loved it.  I can't help myself, I fall in love with anything pertaining to the Middle Ages or Renaissance time periods.

In case you haven't read the book, I'll give you a synopsis.  The series is based off three Philippa Gregory books: The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker's Daughter.   I haven't read the third yet, but I've read the first two many times and absolutely devoured them.  The White Queen is told from the point of view of Elizabeth Woodville, who was a commoner and ended up marrying Edward IV and became queen.  The people were pissed off at first because Edward usurped the throne via the War of the Roses (and, duh, he married a commoner which just was not done, and still kind of isn't, unless you're as cute as Wills and can get away with it), but then E+E brought peace to England for awhile and the people accepted them.  Plus they had a billion children, which was seen as perpetuating the royal line rather than overpopulating the country.

The Red Queen is told from the point of view of Margaret Beaufort, who actually never became a queen but could have been an heir to the throne.  All throughout the book, it annoyed me that it was called queen but she wasn't one, but oh well, semantics, what are you going to do?  Margaret was a crazy character, one that you aren't meant to like, so it was really interesting reading her story in first person.  (Side note: I love that Philippa almost always writes in first person, you really get into these strong women's heads.)  Margaret hated Elizabeth and spent basically her entire life plotting her downfall and trying to grab the throne for her son.  Spoiler alert, she succeeds!  Margaret's son ends up marrying Elizabeth's daughter and he becomes Henry VII, also the first Tudor king.  There's a whole bunch of characters in these books, some you'll recognize vaguely from high school history but most you won't.  Fortunately, Philippa adds a family tree at the beginning of each of her books so you can keep everyone straight throughout the story.  I found myself going back to it frequently, along with the timeline of the Wars.

Overall, I highly recommend these two books, along with all of Philippa's.  She really does her research before writing.  I always look up all the historical events she writes about and she is more or less accurate.  She takes liberties with character's speech patterns and motives, but that is to be expected.

I am confused by this trailer, and the title of the show, because it seems to only be about Elizabeth and The White Queen.  But the all the info I've read about the show says it will be about all three books, so I don't know what to think yet.  For now I'm just trying to get the trailer out there so other lovers of historical fiction will tune in on August 10th.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on the trailer!

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