Tagged: the white queen

Discussion: Books into TV Series

I may be in the minority for book readers, but I almost like the Game of Thrones show more than the books in some ways.  I like how the show took out some of the more rambling storylines that happen in the fourth and fifth books; they did a really good job paring it down for a TV audience.  At the same time, I really didn’t like the timeline shift that led to Jaime raping Cersei in the show and I didn’t like the entire Dorne storyline, which felt like it was going nowhere.  But I’d still say that the Game of Thrones TV show has stayed true to the spirit of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

One of the TV adaptations I was really impressed with was the adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen.  I officially finished the first four episodes in a huge binge-watching session last night and was really happy with the way the books translated onto the screen.  The actors and actresses are all very talented and the TV show stayed very true not only to the feel of Gregory’s series on the War of the Roses but also to a lot of the main plot events.  You have Jacquetta working her magic, Elizabeth growing more and more ruthless toward Edward’s enemies and the poor Neville girls admiring the queen and yet being forced to become her rivals for power.  It’s actually a very satisfying adaptation and on the whole I like it more overall than the Game of Thrones adaptation because it stays very true to the source material and the writing is consistently excellent.

So what I want to know now is this: Do you have any particular books that you’d like to see adapted into a TV series?  Or, how has your experience been with seeing your favourite books adapted into TV shows?  Was it good or bad?  Why?

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

(Cover picture courtesy of Glamour Glory.)

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets.  They ruled before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women.

The White Queen tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, who secretly marries the newly crowned boy king.  While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become the central figures in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.  Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another best-selling classic series from this beloved author.

When I received The White Queen as a late birthday present from my best friend, I was a bit skeptical.  Historical fiction had bored me up to that point, but Philippa Gregory’s amazing novel forever changed my attitude toward it.

The White Queen is the tale of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman who is recently widowed and fighting for her two sons’ inheritance.  She meets the boy king Edward and immediately sparks fly.  A whirlwind romance, battle and secret marriage later, Elizabeth becomes Queen of England.  Philippa Gregory’s amazing novel chronicles the life of an extraordinary woman who was a secret force behind politics in the late 15th century England.

Elizabeth is a very believable, complex character who makes a wonderful narrator.  Her motivations vary throughout the novel, yet she is still sympathetic and readers will root for her the whole time.  She truly comes alive in Philippa Gregory’s vivid descriptions of life in 15th century England and the multifaceted politics of the time.  There is certainly a reason why Philippa Gregory is known as the queen of royal fiction.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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