The White Princess

The White Princess - Philippa Gregory Philippa Gregory grips you in a new historical thriller, this time with Elizabeth of York as the main character. Her life was one of fairy tales, until her father died, they claimed sanctuary, her brothers disappeared, and her Uncle Richard killed at the battle of Bosworth. Having promised to marry her if he wins, Henry Tudor comes to England to challenge Richard III to the crown of England. Because of a traitors choice, Richard is killed during the battle, and Henry Tudor becomes King Henry VII.

Throughout her married life to the Tudor King, Elizabeth is faced with the threats of new warfare, many of her mothers dealings with trying to get a York heir back on the throne. But everyone knows that both the princes of York disappeared from the Tower and are presumed dead... but are they both?

Elizabeth hides a secret from her husband, a secret so explosive that if she was to tell, he would never trust her again. Her brother Richard never went into the tower, it was a decoy boy, so that one of the York heirs might get away. As new claimants come forward, each one is dealt with, but there is one that everyone seems to embrace, and that seems to have a better claim than Henry Tudor. Is he Richard, her long lost brother, or another pretender so throughoughly seeped in their family history that he can fool every monarch in Christendom. As Elizabeth ponders these thoughts, she is surprised at how much she fears for her husband and at the same time for her brother. Is is possible to love both and hope for the best outcome??

Her life at the Tudor court is overshadowed by his overbearing mother, Margaret Stanley, who fancies herself one of the greatest ladies in the land. She and she alone is the confidant of her son, to the exclusion of his wife, and the one person who could really guide him through the life of being a King, and how to win the hearts of his people. Instead he becomes a king so overshadowed by fear that he trusts no one, and fears everyone. Poor Elizabeth is left in the shadows, to bear children and be the face of the last remaining York.

The story of Elizabeth is truly tragic. If Henry has utilized her as he should have, she would have made a fantastic queen. A queen that truly could unite the Lancaster and York houses together and let die the flames from the cousins war. Instead she is so shrouded in mystery that one has to wonder how she managed to last at the court as long as she did before she succumbed to fever after giving birth. Her life was one that should have been paved in gold before her, instead she was challenged every day by his mother who felt that she herself should have the first lady in the kingdom and come after no one. Lady Margaret was one who would do anything to advance her son, and let nobody or nothing stand in her way. She was a major force who commanded how everything at court should run, from the birthing of babies to the smallest ritual performed by servants. She wanted the best and felt she deserved it. Elizabeth was left to forge her own way and try and raise her children the best way she could in the face of such a domineering woman. If she had the power her mother had had, the world would have known an exceptionally amazing woman. I enjoyed this book, and felt as though she had some new life breathed back into her, and the tragic story of her family. One does have to wonder though.. what would have happened if Richard hadn't lost at the battle of Bosworth?? The turn in history would have been interesting indeed.