Regular price: $27.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $27.99
Patience. This is, without doubt, the most repetitive book I've read, including cookbooks. I dare you to take a sip of wine every time "the boy" is mentioned in the latter half of this book and try to finish a chapter before passing out. Truly, this story (don't confuse it with history) could have been told in one-third the length.
Nearly every one of Elizabeth's thoughts, and her conversations with Maggie, with Henry, with Margaret, with her mother (notice a pattern?), are repeated almost verbatim and/or paraphrased multiple times -- some ad nauseam. Entire chapters consist of repetitions, with only one new minor point plot offered. Describing being drawn and quartered once in excruciating detail will suffice, thanks. Just write "drawn and quartered" after that, we're smart enough to know what you mean. We don't need to be lectured in almost identical detail twice, and partially a third time . . . maybe more. I confess I drifted off a number of times, but I doubt I missed anything I hadn't heard previously several times.
If I hadn't liked The White Queen so much, I wouldn't have persevered to finish, hoping for more and better. It's hard to swallow the premise that the calm, poised, wise-beyond-her-years Elizabeth of The White Queen would develop a grand passion for her uncle, who betrayed a promise to her father, imprisoned and potentially murdered her dear brothers. Cultivating his interest for strategic reasons to protect the Woodvilles may make have made sense. The main characters are static over a near 15-year time span, never growing or learning from their mistakes. If Henry VII was as incapable, cowardly, sniveling, and mother-dominated as depicted here, his uncle would have made a deal with the Yorks to knock him off as soon as there was an heir and a spare, putting the York-Tudor hybrid Arthur on the throne. In reality, history suggests Henry VII had no mistress after marriage to Elizabeth, that Elizabeth and Henry had a successful perhaps loving marriage, that Margaret Beaufort was not an ogre, that Henry's reign was more successful, etc.
What a disappointment!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
No, not quoting Macbeth in comparison to this work of historical fiction, merely trying to illustrate how repetition consumes this novel. If you've read several of Philippa Gregory's works, you know the recipe of a little fact; a lot of conjecture; and a great deal of restating the same ideas. These works are B+ romantic novels and I'm not embarrassed to admit I enjoy some of her books.
It doesn't put me off how she takes leeway with some facts. Having read several of her Tudor novels, I was empowered to read and research material on the subjects on my own. Enjoyed the journey to discovery.
I had high hopes wanting to know about Henry VIII's mother and the childhood of the four children. Minimal pages are devoted to the offspring and quick references to Henry's gluttony of food and playing games were given paucity of attention. The beginning was interesting (even if not historically correct) and I sympathized with Elizabeth being trapped in a loveless marriage. However, the next 3/4 of the book regurgitated the same idea of how Henry VII was a usurper and his paranoia of chasing the possibility a true York king coming to take his throne were churned out superfluously.
Greggory should take her time and get back to the originality and fervent storytelling from her earlier novels instead of churning out books so quickly. Ignore the big paychecks for quantity and take time for quality.
34 of 36 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
If you don't know history and you hate the Tudors this book is right up your alley. If you have a fanatical love of Richard III and you hate storytelling/compelling characters, this is your story.
What could Philippa Gregory have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Maybe be a little less obviously a Bride of Gloucester, It was written very quickly, the protagonist is boring and has no soul. All she says is "I don't know" .
Would you be willing to try another one of Bianca Amato’s performances?
The reader was ok, but i feel even she was bored by the story, she brought the male voices to life though.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The White Princess?
The rape scene is unfounded, not in history. Apparently Elizabeth and her husband got on well. so I'd cut most of the third book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
While Philippa Gregory's novels are generally well written with at least a founding in history - this novel makes me very angry. Historians, generally agree, that while Elizabeth and Henry's marriage was political, genuine affection soon developed between them. The idea that Henry would rape Elizabeth is absurd! This novel makes Henry out to be a weak man, ruled completely by his mother - Which is a poor portrayal of a man that rarely saw his mother and fought his entire youth for his crown. Was Henry a calculating man? Yes. Did he take much advice from his mother? Yes. But he was not a weakling!
7 of 10 people found this review helpful