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The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

Some writers spend a lot of time and energy researching a wide range of subjects and  settings for their novels, while other authors just find a winning formula and stick with it.

Philippa Gregory falls into the latter category and boy, does she make her formula work. Philippa was already an English scholar and successful novelist and screenwriter before penning blockbuster novel The other Boleyn Girl in 2002. That book was turned into a TV series and Hollywood film and, since then, Philippa has become a one-woman publishing machine of Tudor-period bodice-rippers like The Queen’s Fool and The Virgin’s Lover.

Her academic background means the historical detail in her books is flawless and her knowledge of English literature and long career as a novelist mean she really knows how to spin a good yarn.

This killer combination make Philippa one of the most formidable writers at work today. Now the queen of the historical novel has turned her keen eye to the Plantagenets – the royal dynasty that preceded those saucy Tudors.

The White Queen is the tale of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of stunning beauty and blazing ambition who married King Edward IV of England in secret in 1464. She bore him two sons who later would be at the heart of one of history’s most intriguing mysteries – the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate still baffles historians today.

As you can see, there’s plenty of material for any novelist worth her salt in this episode of history and Philippa doesn’t disappoint, weaving a tale of romance, royal intrigue, death, danger and mystery that is just as page-turningly addictive as her previous books.

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The White Queen is set to be the first in the Cousin’s War series so get your teeth into this one while snuggled up in bed with a cuppa and become blissfully and irrevocably hooked!

Fun fact: Philippa actually won the 2008 edition of Celebrity oastermind in Britain with her specialist topic – Elizabeth Woodville.

(Available through Penguin, rrp $40)

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