The White Queen (novel)

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The White Queen
Author Philippa Gregory
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series The Cousins' War
Genre Novel
Publisher Simon & Schuster Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 664
ISBN 0-7394-2711-3 (hardcover edition)
Followed by The Red Queen

The White Queen is a historical novel written by British novelist Philippa Gregory, first published on 18 August 2009. It tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, queen consort of King Edward IV of England, and is the first in a series set in the time period of the War of the Roses and entitled "The Cousins' War", which covers the primary female figures of the war.[1] A BBC adaptation of the book, The White Queen, was broadcast in summer 2013, in which Elizabeth Woodville is played by Rebecca Ferguson.[2] The series features three of the leading ladies of The War of the Roses; Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville. It was also made into a BBC TV series called The White Queen.


The novel follows the life of Elizabeth Woodville from just before her second marriage until the end of the War of the Roses.

The story begins after Elizabeth's first husband, Sir John Grey of the House of Lancaster, is killed in battle. With the help of her mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, she bewitches King Edward IV and marries the king in secret. The story follows Elizabeth's life from her first meeting with Edward, through to his death and its aftermath.[3] The mystery of the Princes in the Tower forms part of the action, with the novel questioning whether King Richard III was guilty of having the boys killed. In the novel, young Prince Richard is not sent to the tower; Queen Elizabeth instead substitutes a page boy for the prince, who escapes and lives under an assumed name. The novel ends in 1485, just prior to the Battle of Bosworth.

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