The White Princess
The White Princess opens as the news of the battle of Bosworth is brought to Princess Elizabeth of York, who will learn not only which rival royal house has triumphed, Tudor or York, but also which suitor she must marry: Richard III her lover, or Henry Tudor her enemy.
A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle, and create a new royal family with him and his ambitious mother: Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen. But, while the new monarchy can win, it cannot, it seems, hold power in an England which remembers the House of York with love.
The new king’s greatest fear is that somewhere, outside England, a prince from the House of York is waiting to invade and re-claim the throne for the house of York. Fearing that none of his new allies can be trusted, Henry turns to his wife to advise him, all the time knowing that her loyalties must be divided. When the young man who would be king finally leads his army and invades England, it is for Elizabeth to decide whether she recognizes him as her brother and a claimant to the throne, or denies him in favor of the husband she is coming to love…
Philippa Gregory: What Are You Reading?
Reading Group Guide
The White Princess opens with Elizabeth of York grieving the loss of her lover, Richard III, who was killed at the battle of Bosworth by his Lancastrian rival, Henry Tudor. As soon as Henry claims the crown to become Henry VII, he cements his succession by demanding Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. While Elizabeth dutifully bears a male Tudor heir and endures her husband’s suspicion of her York relations, her mother, Elizabeth of Woodville, concocts a plan for revenge. Making the most of her York connections, Elizabeth Woodville secretly supports an uprising against Henry, placing her daughter, now Queen to Henry’s King, between two families. When Henry learns of the treasonous plot, he imprisons his mother-in-law and becomes preoccupied with capturing “the boy”—the handsome leader of the rebellion whose adherents claim is the true York heir. But when the King arrests the imposter, who strongly resembles Elizabeth’s missing brother, Prince Richard, his Tudor court is thr see more