A Review of the BBC Drama the White Queen

Elizabeth Woodville Beautiful enough

Elizabeth Woodville Beautiful enough to stop a king but a bit of a drip

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.

The only thing worth looking at Warwick the King maker

The only thing worth looking at Warwick the King maker

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.

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2 Responses to A Review of the BBC Drama the White Queen

  1. I saw the trailers and couldn’t bring myself to watch it when I got even a brief glimpse of the costumes (and complete lack of head coverings), the costume and reenactment communities online have been frothing at the mouth about a zip since sunday

  2. poppycoburn says:

    Elizabeth drove me mad. She is not how I imagined her to be portrayed either. She spent the whole episode quite lovesick and with no notion of what she was going to do which drove me mad. Ferguson is very pretty but right now she is not Elizabeth Woodville.

    The costumes irritated me, especially because Gregory spends a lot of time talking about the headdresses they wear in descriptions too. And zips! SINCE WHEN DID ZIPS EXSIST IN MEDIEVAL TIMES 😐 I don’t like the overuse of the pink dress either but I may just be picky.

    Have to agree, currently I feel this should have remained a book. So full of cliches and bad acting from the main actors currently.

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