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Phillipa gregory - what are the White Queen and the Red Queen like?

(28 Posts)
Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 19:26:23

MIL, (bless her she does ahve a few good points) has sent them to me, she bought them for me as a treat as I've been feeling so low and upset and depressed and il. However, I'm not a massive fan of Hysterical novels, although I've read the Other Boleyn Girl by the same author and aother one of hers set in Tudor times, but I forget the name.

Are they worth starting or a bit tedious?

lizzie83 Mon 03-Oct-11 19:41:23

I love all of Phillipa Gregory books and would highly recommend both of them. Hope this helps.

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 20:34:14

Thank you, which would you read first? I noticed the Red Queen is set earlier than the White Queen, but doesn't seem to be part of the same series?

IreadthereforeIam Mon 03-Oct-11 20:45:15

They are from the same series (a Battle of the Roses series, I think). I read them in the order they came out - The white Queen first, followed by the Red Queen. I really enjoyed them, too - but I do have a bit of the thing about fictionalised history!

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 20:48:28

Thank you. I'm going to try and go to bed early tonight and make a start - if I can get Ds1 to actually listen and go to bed hmm

maxpower Mon 03-Oct-11 20:48:38

I read the White Queen (was bought it as a gift) - I found it hard work and disappointing compared to her earlier novels. Needless to say, I didn't bother with the Red Queen

ElderberrySyrup Mon 03-Oct-11 20:49:44

White Queen is a bit silly compared to her others. But still quite interesting.

DrinkYourWeakLemonDrinkNow Mon 03-Oct-11 20:52:29

I've read the White Queen. I thought it was terrible(sorryblush). Formulaic load of old tosh.

I would highly recommend Shardlake series for really exciting books to lose yourself in.

lec0rnsillk Mon 03-Oct-11 20:53:01

I read white queen and then red queen. I thought red queen was better but enjoyed white queen as I didn't know much about the plantagenets.(sp?)

freelancescientist Mon 03-Oct-11 20:57:54

I really enjoyed them. White Queen is a bit more fantastical/mystical but I also knew very little about the plantagenets so found it all really interesting. Just ordered number 3 in this series from the Book People.

Saltire Mon 03-Oct-11 23:28:19

I like history, but not novels. I'll give them a go.

IreadthereforeIam Tue 04-Oct-11 09:22:46

Yes, I like the Shardlake novels, too - I've read them all. The Gregory books did make me go and buy a couple of 'proper' history books about the plantagenets, though. Very interesting (and you're right, the White Queen was a bit 'mystical' - reminded me of one of her other books - which I can't remember right at this minute. I'll have a think and come back!!)

IreadthereforeIam Tue 04-Oct-11 09:23:52

Ah, The Wise Woman. Very fairytale-ish. Can't say as I liked it much, either!!

Saltire Tue 04-Oct-11 10:27:39

It was reading the Other Boleyn Girl which made me go out and buy a non fiction book about henry 8th wives. Like some on here, I know very little about the plantagenets, so it might help!

Saltire Tue 04-Oct-11 10:30:49

I've been racking my brains to think what the other book of hers was that I read,and I'm blush to say it was "The Other Queen" about Mary. I should have remembered that, being a Scot

Poledra Tue 04-Oct-11 10:32:08

If you like history, Saltire, have a go at Alison Weir (the non-fiction books). I love her books, especially the ones on Katherine Swynford and Elanor of Acquitaine.

BTW, I like the Phillippa Gregory novels, but accurate they ain't!

Poledra Tue 04-Oct-11 10:32:35

Eleanor, of course blush

Saltire Tue 04-Oct-11 10:33:55

Poledra - it was an Alison Weir book i read about henry's wives, it was great.

minervaitalica Tue 04-Oct-11 10:34:40

Nah - white queen was poor - did not bother with Red queen (I do enjoy historical novels)

Colyngbourne Tue 04-Oct-11 10:38:37

The White Queen is appalling. Gregory uses the phrase "oh my God" and "numpty"; she includes non-medieval pews and hassocks. She messes up details about the history.

And I would run a mile from any book about Margaret Beaufort. I have a lovely cartoon of her being psychoanalysed, family pics of "My Boy" (Henry looking grumpy) and "Stan" (Lord Stanley ooking miserable) and the therapist asking, "And how did you feel, Lady Margaret, when you first realised that no-one liked you?"

Poledra Tue 04-Oct-11 11:09:45

Ah - preaching to the converted then grin

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 11:14:32

I was really annoyed by the implication that she and her mother actually do magic. I had always thought that Gregory's gift was to take history and think 'what would it actually have been like?'; the ones with Henry VIII and the gory details of having to shag him just after having a baby were very strong in their down-to-earthness.
Bringing magic in just stops it being sensible.
I know it's from her POV and people did believe in magic then, but it feels as if the reader is meant to actually believe it.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 04-Oct-11 11:29:26

I thought the White Queen was really silly, and her use of language is just...bad. It just wasn't well written. Also it's bad enough with historical novels that you know what will happen in the end, without her constant doomy foreshadowings.

I'd love to read some half-decent historical novels about that period though.

Poledra Tue 04-Oct-11 11:43:33

Elephants, have you tried Sharon Penman? I remember loving her books when I was in my twenties - might have to try rereading them sometime soon.

BTW, hello, long time no see. Is the Books AIBU still running?

ElderberrySyrup Tue 04-Oct-11 11:46:09

I used to love Norah Lofts. The Old Vine trilogy are good. (The Town House, The House At Old Vine, The House At Sunset.)

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