8. The White Queen & The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

Wednesday 27 February 2013

This past two weeks have been one of those weeks where I constantly told myself to update, but I never actually got round to it. I enlisted Fella to tell me I had to blog too, and even that failed!

February has been a busy month at work, and I'm still between Fella's and Papa G's (which explains the lack of blogging lately). I love my room at my dads. I may do a picture post on it next just because I love it so much.

Fella and I will be moving to Saint Albans at the end of April, it's scary how quickly time is creeping up on us. We're starting to look for flats to view and I'm so excited to hopefully find a lovely place to live where we can put our own stamp on it. And no more traveling to work for me, which is a massive bonus!

I've started to get back into Philippa Gregory's novels on my commute to and from work. I read 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and 'Constant Princess' years ago and didn't think much of them to be honest. The film adaptation of TOBG has gone down as one of my most loathed films of all time too. I'm not too fond of the TV drama that was made before hand either. Lets not even go there.

So when I picked up 'The White Queen' there was a slight feeling of hesitation. I didn't want to waste my money on a book that would be donated to a charity shop possibly before I had even finished it.

I was pleasantly surprised by TWQ however! I found her portrayal of Elizabeth Woodville to be quite believable and even likable. The mythical elements in it also captivated my attention, and I generally enjoyed all the characterisations throughout - 'The Lady of the Rivers' is next on my hit list. I think my favourite character was Anthony Rivers for reasons I shan't reveal! I won't spoil it for anyone reading this post who might want to read it yourself, I'll just say I highly, highly recommend it.

Following on this theme I am coming to the end of 'The Red Queen'. I knew this particular book would be hard to swallow purely because I have little love for Margaret Beaufort. When studying her over the years I have personally found that she was incredibly ambitious and thought herself above everyone else. Opinion is always divided about the matriarch of the House of Tudor.

Gregory's Margaret for me was highly unlikable, and I viewed (in the story, I know it must have been very different in her actual lifetime) that she was the cause of her own problems and situations. Her identification and obsession with Joan of Arc was always irritating all the way through the book. Her character's sense of entitlement, and that she was above York was infuriating as it was intriguing to consider her side of the dynastic Cousin's War. I have to admit I spent the majority of the book wanting her to just run away with Jasper and have move half-Welsh babies and never return to England. But we know that would never happen. 

Though the book did make me curious about the driven Jasper Tudor.. Did you know that after the Battle of Bosworth he married Catherine Woodville? Yes! The very same sister of his 'enemy' Elizabeth Woodville. As far as I'm aware it doesn't seem to be a love match, and I suspect it was the Tudors way of clamping down on the Woodville's and keeping them in check. I wonder what the fictional Margaret would have made of that little bombshell? It is a delicious morsel to consider, given her self righteousness throughout the book. I think I will forever be biased when it comes to Margaret Beaufort. I will never be able to look upon her fondly. 

I'm very much looking forward to seeing what the up and coming BBC drama 'The White Queen' will be like! At first I wasn't convinced by Max Iron's as Edward IV, but after watching clips of him I'm impressed. He delivers much more than the production stills would have you believe. 

I'm waiting with anticipation for the final installment in the book series 'The White Princess', told from Elizabeth of York's point of view. 

I find it sad how I had always cast her off as quite a boring character in history with no real significance. I put a lot of this down to what I was taught in school about history, and the focus that there was on Greeks and Romans, Tudors, Stuarts and Victorians etc.. It's such a fascinating time, and The Cousin's War held great significance. Imagine if Henry VII had lost at Bosworth, and Richard victorious? We'd be in a completely different world. I'm excited to be living somewhere that played a significant part in the history of this time! 

I hope you have a lovely evening. I'm going to spend it trying to convince my dad to watch 'Richard III: The Unseen Story'. 

Wish me luck!

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