Sunday, August 16, 2009

Review and Giveaway: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

In 1464 Elizabeth Woodville is a twenty seven year old widow with two young sons. Her family have been staunch supporters of the Lancastrians and her father and brothers have fought numerous battles in the wars that have raged since the death of Edward III, called the Cousins' War since the rival claimants for the throne are all cousins, descendants of the late King. Elizabeth lost her husband in one of the battles and her lands and income reverted to the ultimate victor, the new York king, Edward IV.

Elizabeth is not a woman to sit by and allow events to happen to her. She knows that she is one of the most beautiful women in the country, so she contrives a meeting with the new King to ask for the return of her lands. He is well known to be swayed by an attractive face, and Elizabeth proves to be no exception. But she has something that others don't, a mind that matches her beauty and intrigues Edward from the moment he meets her. He marries her, despite every single one of his supporters being against the match, despite her family's position against him in the recent wars, despite everything.

Though the time they live in is turbulent and dangerous, they truly love each other and have a fruitful marriage that is blessed with many children. As Queen of England, Elizabeth is in a position of power, she would be less than human if she did not use her position to better the lives of those she loves. Her relatives receive honors and wealth, the family's rise creates ill will and outright enemies. She and her mother are both accused of witchcraft as the tide of opinion swells against them. Though both she and Edward rule in the hope of peace, they are unable to escape the factions that crave power. The Cousins' War is far from over.

This is the Philippa Gregory that we love! It is a fantastic historical novel about that most reviled English Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. I have never read any book, fiction or non, that does not portray her as a scheming bitch. Here, at last, is a balanced look at a woman who rose to the pinnacle of power in her world. Did it take some plotting? Yes, of course it did, no one got anywhere in those days without some scheming. Could she be nasty, petty, ambitious? Yes, to those too. She was envied, she was beautiful, she was fighting for the people she loved: her husband and children. The picture here is of a normal woman, not perfect, not evil. Just doing what she thought she had to do to save her family and ensure their place in the world. There is no question that her reputation was spread by people who hated her. The world will never know the truth, but the great fun of historical fiction is the speculation, and the author does that here, giving us another exceptional story.

This book is the first in a planned trilogy that will revolve around the Cousins' War and relate the events from different points of view. The next book will be The Red Queen and will be the story of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry Tudor. I can't wait to read it, I'm excited about it already! One person in history that comes off looking worse than Elizabeth Woodville is definitely Margaret Beaufort! Again, always portrayed as a nasty you-know-what. Writing about the same time period from the points of view of rival factions is just an inspired idea! More, please!!

For more information about the author and all of her books, please visit her website.

The White Queen is published by Touchstone. ISBN 978-1-4165-6368-6

I have one copy to give away! To enter, just leave me a comment here. The winner will be drawn at random and must have a US or Canada mailing address. Enter thru midnight eastern on September 1. Below are some ways for you to earn extra entries. Please leave ONE comment for each thing you choose to do. You can combine your comments together if you like but please do not leave multiple comments for the same extra thing (for example, one comment if you fave at Technorati or subscribe via Feedburner, not three). Thank you for visiting and entering!!

+1 become a follower (current followers automatically included)
+1 tweet giveaway on twitter or blog about it
+3 fave this blog at Technorati (click on the little green box on the left sidebar)
+3 subscribe via Feedburner


Irish said...

I now follow you officially...and will tweet about this contest as well

Mary K. from L.A. said...

I think I'm already a follower (if not, I've been a reader of your blog for a long time and will be sure to make it official). I'll tweet and blog about this contest too, even though I want this book really really bad and to do so will be messing up my odds of winning it. :)

Good review, btw. As usual.

Valorie said...

+1 I am a follower.

+1 Blogged:

+3 Favorited you on Technorati (morbidromantic)

+3 I subscribe via feedburner.


Meghan said...

No need to enter me - I have actually read non-fiction that doesn't portray her as a scheming bitch, for the record. Most of it actually seems to ignore her except to comment on the peculiarity of Edward's choice of wife. But I don't think most of what I read is available outside of a university library. It's pretty easy to see why the other nobles hated the Woodvilles even if they didn't deserve it - there were a ton of them and they took a lot of the highborn marriageable society out! =)

Anyway, yes, I agree, it was nice to have her a normal person and not evil in fiction for once! And I do agree that Philippa Gregory is a great storyteller.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

I have heard lots of good things about this book. Love to have a copy!

I am an RSS feed-er!

bermudaonion said...

I've never read any of Philippa Gregory's work and I'm not sure this is the one I'd want to start with, so I'm not going to enter. Your love of the book shows, though!

mariag said...

I am a follower.
Would love to read this book.

Lauren said...

I would love to enter!

And I already follow you! :)

Kaye said...

I just love the cover to this book and your review is wonderful.

I'm a follower


Beth F said...

I already have this one -- so glad it's good!

teabird said...

We just got our copy at the library but I want my own! I follow via Bloglines (of course I follow....)

teabird17 AT yahoo dot com

throuthehaze said...

count me in!

+1 follower

+3 tech fave- throuthehaze

+3 subscribe

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Irene Yeates said...

I am a follower.
I would love to win.
Reading your review reinforces my desire to read this book!

cyeates AT nycap DOT rr DOT com

Anonymous said...

Please enter my name in your draw. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I am a follower of your blog.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I subscribe through Google Reader.
wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

Literate Housewife said...

I really enjoyed this novel, too! I don't think there will ever be another novel like The Other Boleyn Girl (if for any other reason than I read that novel first), but this story had great action, interesting mysticism, and interesting characters - you never knew who the villain was. I'm looking forward to The Red Queen, too!

Kate said...

I would love to win this book. She is one of my favorite authors.

I am already a follower

+1 added to sidebar

+3 subscribe via Feedburner

Sunny @ the Library said...

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me! ;)

Okay, I'll make it easier to get myself picked.

I'm commenting for one.

I'm already a follower.

I already subscribe with the feedburner thingy.

And I created a Techrnorati account and faved you.

So now will you pick me? What? Fair drawings and equal chances for everyone? Bah! ;)

Erica said...

Please enter me! I've heard great things about this one.

+1 I 'm a follower

:) Erica

nfmgirl said...

Please include me!

+1 I follow

+1 I tweeted:

+3 I subscribe

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Nely said...

I want this so bad :D

Enter me please.

I am a follower as well.


Anonymous said...

+1 I'm a follower! :)

+3 I subscribe via Feedburner.


holdenj said...

I would love to win, please count me in!

+ I am already a follower!

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com


Sandra K321 said...

I really want to read this book.

Sandra K321 said...

I follow your blog.

etirv said...

Please count me in, I already follow!


etirv said...

Google reader subscriber!


Beth said...

This looks interesting! Please enter me!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Beth said...

I'm a follower.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

LuAnn said...

Great author so must be a great book!

reading_frenzy at yahoo dot com

(I'm a follower)

Julie said...

Please enter me, I would love a chance to win this one!

I'm also a follower


Laughing Stars said...

I LOVE the title of your blog.

I'd like to enter, too. I am following your blog, and I "favorited" it to Technorati and I will "tweet" this post, too. I'm not sure what a Feedburner is, but when I became a follower, you were automatically added to my Google Reader. :-)

Steph --

Nicole said...

This book looks good.
+1 follower

bridget3420 said...

I'd like to enter.

tweet -

Technorati fave - bridget3420

Email subscriber


shal said...

i love phillipa Gregory's work, Please enter me... I'm already a follower

shal said...

I also tweeted here

Esme said...


ps at the bottom of the page where you talk about studying literature-there is a typo in literature-seems more like quick tying misplaced


Esme said...

blogged about it at chocolateandcroissants

chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

Linda said...

Not being a Philippa Gregory fan, I had decided to pass on this novel, but recent reviews make me think this may be a pretty good book. Please count me in for the giveaway.
I follow your blog through Google Reader.

Sue said...

I'd love to read this!! Thanks for the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

The Tome Traveller said...

Thank you, Esme! I fixed it. I can't believe that I have been up for over a year and never noticed that! I do try to proofread!!

gaby317 said...

please count me in - this book sounds so good!

+ i follow

gaby317nyc at gmail doc com

I Heart Book Gossip said...

Please count me in
+1 become a follower
+1 tweeted @iheartbkgossip

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Zibilee said...

Great review! I am so super excited about this book, and hope that I get a chance to read it soon. Please enter me in this giveaway!


+1 I am also a follower

Pam said...

Pick me! Pick me!

I'm a ofllower

Technorati fave

melacan at hotmail dot com

ossmcalc said...

This book about historical fiction is one that I have been wanting to read. Please enter me into this giveaway for The White Queen.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

+1 I follow.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

+1 I tweeted this giveaway

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...


Faved this blog at Technorati as ossmcalc

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...


Subscriber via Feedburner

Thank you,


Lisanne624 said...

I love British history, so I'd really enjoy this book!

lahlstedt (at) gmail (dot) com

Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


Carol W. said...

I'm eager to read this. Please enter me in your giveaway.


Belinda M said...

Please include me in your giveaway

I follow your blog

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at


Anonymous said...

please count me in...thanks.

karen k

Anonymous said...

i'm a follower :)

karen k

Carol said...

I would love to read this book and then pass it on to my granddaughters!
Thank you!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

Carol said...

I follow your blog.
Carol M
mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

JenniferB said...

I would love to win this book- looks very interesting and I love the cover

JenniferB said...

following your blog

JenniferB said...

+3 subscribed with feedburner- google reader

Elizabeth said...

I would love to win this, the War of the Roses fascinates me.

Elizabeth said...

I'm already a Follower.

Anonymous said...

I'm rushing through my Alison Weir in anticipation of the arrival of The White Queen. I'm so excited! Thank you for the chance.

Anonymous said...

I favorited you on Technorati

Anonymous said...

I blogged about you!

Anonymous said...

I subscribed via FeedBurner email at

Anonymous said...

and I'm now a Follower!

Thanks so much for all the extra entries. Hope they bring good luck!

Jennifer said...

I have been waiting for this novel and hoping to win a copy! Thank you for the chance.

+1 Follower

Jennifer said...

+3 Fav's on Technorati (knittingmomof3)
knittingmomof3 (AT)gmail (DOT) com

Jennifer said...

I am indeed a Feedburner Subscriber.

~The Book Pixie said...

This is a great contest.

+1 follow you

+1 on sidebar:


MUM said...

I'm a follower. Count me in please.


Cherie J said...

Sounds good! Would love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks!


Cherie J said...

I signed up to be a follower today.

blueviolet said...

I love her writing. I'd love to read this!

I'm a current follower +1

You're in my Technorati faves: +3

I have your giveaway on my right sidebar here +1

I subscribe to your Feedburner +3


LoveMyCoffee said...

I want this one!

I follow


fitz12383 said...

Please enter me!

I'm a follower.

I tweeted:


Thank you!!

Thank you to Beth at Beth Fish Reads and to The Blogger Guide for helping me to customize my template and to Andrea at The Little Bookworm for improving my header!!

About Me

My photo
New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.