I have to say I do enjoy a good Philippa Gregory book her Tudor books while they like to explore the more controversial conspiracies give an interesting take on events predominately from a female perspective. As a historian that knows the period well I can see where she has used poetic licence to add to a story and what’s fact from what’s fiction.
Gregory’s Cousins War series of books looking at the Plantagenet’s rise and fall and the dawn of the Tudors has been great to read especially as it gives a female perspective. The characters are well set out and again mythology and conspiracies are explored within these books but as books I think they should have stayed.
I have to say I was deeply disappointed with pervious attempts to adapt Gregory’s books, the Other Boleyn Girl adpted twice and twice it was not good. Initially the trailers for the White Queen looked promising. When it came to last Sunday however I decided to opt for the other side. As many of you will know I am an avid Agatha Christie fan so Miss Marple won over Ms Gregory.
I finally caught up on Tuesday and I will be frank, I was disappointed. The first thing was a little to clean and the actors a little too attractive. The clothes weren’t quite right. Apparently there were crimpers for hair in pre Tudor England.
Then we move on to Elizabeth Woodville, she was certainly attractive enough to stop a king however she was wet and demure very unlike the character portrayed in the books. The king who I would have imaged as blonde and dashing was not blonde or handsome (to my taste – Warwick the king maker however caught my attention) the only character who I felt lived up to the books was Jacquetta Lady Rivers, Elizabeth Woodville’s mother. The acting was more Hollyoak’s than RADA and left me wanting to watch Miss Marple again.
Others historians have been scathing regarding the conspiracy mythical magic elements of the story but as the author explored these issues in the book I was not surprised to see them on screen. This is an adaptation of fiction based in history rather than history. This I can firmly say should have stayed as a book.