This book covers the time from Richard III’s slaughter on the Battle field of Bosworth and Henry VII’s difficult grasp on the thrones, many believed him a usurper and believed that one of the princes of York had escaped death in the Tower of London [which historians now believe to be true] and was set to return and claim his throne.
Elizabeth, eldest daughter of The White Queen was betrothed purely as a means to strengthen Henry’s claim, to mix her York blood with his [his Mother The Red Queen, although never a Queen, was a Lancastrian] in a hopes that the Lord and people of the land would accept him. But she is trapped, untrusted, disbelieved at every turn. She cannot ‘know’ anything of her own family, not even her Mother can openly talk with her, for fear Henry will announce her a traitor and behead her. she is surrounded by spies for Henry, for his Mother, incase word is sent to her of plot, rising, invasion, or ‘the boy’.
Although quite a slower read than the others of the series, merely because Elizabeth cannot be ‘involved’ with any of the politics of the time, the book did detail well the fear of the Tudors at a Yorkist overthrowing them [as he had done to R III] and when the boy is found many years later and captured, Henry’s writhing anger that no matter what he attempts to conjure, persuade and decree about this charming handsome golden haired cultivated boy the world still sees him as a York Prince, even if declaring so risks their head, lands and fortune.
The ‘curse’ that Phillipa has woven into both The White Queen and The White Princess is quite marvellous and when you put the historical facts in place, curse of karma, makes you wonder.
Many of us have been enamoured by the Tudor period, the gregariousness of Henry VIII, the jostling for positions and the need for a son; the differences and divisions between his daughters and the puppeting of Lady Jane Grey. From Henry VII’s claim to the crown until Elizabeth I’s barren death, this period must be one of the bloodiest, the most paranoid, perilous times of in-fighting there has even been in England’s history, aside from the battle between catholicism and protestantism that continued for another century.