For today’s book club I wanted to share a trilogy that I think many of you may have dipped into, or if you haven’t then I’m recommending you do.
I’ll go right out there and say it, although I read a lot of classics as a teen, once I got into my adult reading years there is a strong theme in the books that I tend to enjoy. Nearly all of them are historical, often depicting historical stories from other cultures, the far East, (Memoirs of a Geisha springs to mind,) pioneers and early travelers. This series is set closer to home and depicts our own bloody Royal history, and focuses on the Women behind The Cousins War, between The Houses of Lancaster and York.
I first read The White Queen a while back and loved the romance and imagery Phillipa Gregory portrays so well, but it’s also fascinating to learn a little more about the real history behind it. Of course the records have been embroidered to serve the purposes of writing a book, but it’s a decent starting point (and I believe there’s now a factual book that accompanies the series and details the evidence behind Phillipa’s research.) The White Queen was a commoner, Elizabeth Woodville who’s sons eventually became the legend of the Princes in the Tower.
On holiday last week I read The Lady of the Rivers , which details the story of Elizabeth’s mother, Jaquetta and talks more about the witchcraft and magic she inherits from her family. It’s the most romantic yet – I loved reading about the young King Henry and Queen Margaret of Anjou – little more than kids yet thrust into leadership and manipulated, exposing all the flaws of the old monarchy. It has more than re-ignited my interest in the series and now I’m about to read The Red Queen about Margaret Beaufort, The White Queen’s greatest adversary. I love reading a book that looks at a story I already know ‘from the other side’ and a new perspective.
Have you read any of The Cousins war or would you like to join me?