Friday, March 11, 2011

Historical Junk Food

So what could be better than the story of a battle for England's throne, involving the unsolved mystery of what happened to two princes?  I am guessing the other side of the story.  The White Queen by Philippa Gregory is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, who marries Edward IV.  Edward's reign is a constant battle to get and keep the throne, known as The Cousins' War, or The War of the Roses.  Elizabeth and Edward had several children together, including two sons who may or may not have been imprisoned in the Tower of London, and may or may not have died there.  This is a great mystery of British history, and there are several theories of what may have happened, and who may have been responsible.

In The White Queen, Gregory proposes solutions, by analyzing Elizabeth Woodville's actions, and interpreting why she may have done what history shows she really did do.  However, Gregory's next book, The Red Queen, is reviewed as telling the same story, but from the perspective of Margaret Beaufort, Henry VIII's grandmother.  Obviously, we know who wins, so my guess is that the The Red Queen will make me think that the perspective of Elizabeth Woodville is misguided.

Last summer I visited The Tower of London, and saw where many royals were imprisoned, and where the more unlucky were executed.  This picture shows me, my husband, and our friend, Sev, outside of The White Tower, where Edward IV and Elizabeth's sons were held.  The White Tower is at the center of the Tower of London, which is actually much more a compound than a tower.  The tour was well worth the time. 

Although I know that it is the literary equivalent of junk food, I can't resist Gregory and her historical fiction.  As much as I know I should read "more important" books, I am sure that I will be posting about The Red Queen soon.

Next up:  Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

Still listening to (but not liking as much):  The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

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