Friday, April 3, 2015

The Red Queen By Philippa Gregory

This is the companion book to The White Queen, a book that I practically stumbled upon a few years ago when I bought a few things at Mina's on the avenue. They offered a free book with every purchase. For the most part, I found the book selection to be lacking, but this time around, I found The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and enjoyed it immensely.
When I went to Ohio, my friend Abbe took us to The Book Loft, a crazy book store in the German Village that had 32 rooms full of books. I was disappointed in the prices of Octavia Butler's books (though no doubt I would have bought them if I lived in the area) and went on my merry way. Philippa Gregory's books resided on a shelf down a long hallway, and The Red Queen caught my eye. It was on super sale for $6.00. DONE. 
Margaret Beaufort, a Lancaster lady and the closest to royal title, is the polar opposite of Elizabeth Woodville, who is the star of The White Queen. Margie (imma call her Margie), throughout her whole life is convinced that God speaks to her and even fancies herself as a English Joan of Arc. She prays on the reg and believes so strongly that God wants her line to succeed.
But let me back up. Margie, at the age of 14, marries Edmund Tudor. This strengthens any future children's claim to the throne. She and Edmund, who is 15 years her senior, do their duty, and about a year later, she gives birth to Henry (Henry the VII). 
You do feel sorry for her in the beginning. She desperately wants to go to convent, pray and study, but her family will not allow it. They call her to be a "brood mare" for the house of Lancaster, something she bitterly hates. Even when she gives birth to her son at the tender age of 15, her mother declares that if it was a choice between the mother and the son, save the son. I think this moment turned Margie Beaufort into hardened lady because really, what else is there to become? 
However, the War of the Roses fucks everything up. The York sons kick the Mad King to the curb and George obtains the throne with Woodville at his side. Margie is pissed, to say the least, and much of the book is her griping about how everyone else has what she deserves. The house of York messes with Margie Beaufort's shit for most of the book. 
Margie, through the book is insanely jealous of Elizabeth Woodville and despite eventually aligning her house with hers, she is not above throwing shade and making alliances to overthrow the house of York. Even though her dreams of becoming a nun are dashed, she still rides the "Yo. God talks to only me and he says Lancasters are here to stay," sort of vibe.
Oh, and she is desperately in love with Jasper Tudor, her first husband's brother. Buuuuut like how all important people are, he loves her from afar and they can never be together. She goes on to have 2 more loveless marriages and she even serves as a lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth Woodville. She's a conniving bitch and I love her. She is victorious in the end. Huzzah!
It was cool to read the companion book years later. I remember some of The White Queen, and it makes me want to read it again. No, there is no sarcasm there. I just, you know, have other books to read first.
Oh apparently there are a whole bunch of issues with Elizabeth of York and Henry Tudor's relationship. Apparently it's not based on truth? Well, I can't blame my home girl Philly for artistic license. She has to make money somehow. I guess I'll have to find out when I acquire The White Princess.

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