The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
This is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner widow of
exceptional beauty who captures the heart of the young King Edward IV.
She marries him secretly and when he finally gains the throne, rises to
power so that her family might achieve an exalted position and gains of
land and well-placed marriages.
This is the Plantagenet era,
the War of the Roses. There are constant battles as cousin battles
cousin and brother battles brother. And if not on the battlefield then
in the 'war' of who can marry the best 'placed' lady.
also an element of witchcraft and wizardry as Jacquetta, Elizabeth's
mother is said to have been descended from a water goddess. Elizabeth is
also into witchcraft by creating gales to blow ships off course and
She also resorts to hiding in the sanctuary of the church in order to perserve her family.
I found this story to be interesting but had a little difficulty
keeping all the characters straight. A better family tree at the
beginning could have helped. What continues to amaze me is the use of
women and their marriageable value. What a sad commentary on the times!
No wonder they had to plot and scheme so much!!
First Line: "In the darkness of the forest the young knight could hear the splashing of the fountain long before he could see the glimmer of moonlight reflected on the still surface."