Rarely am I satisfied with a dramatisation of a novel. I have yards of checklists constantly comparing it to the original book – does it match the literary style of the author? Does it create the same mood and atmosphere? How historically accurate is the depiction?
What impressed me the most was how well the characters were brought to life. It was as if they had chewed and chewed on the descriptions on the novels’ pages, digested it, and the words had become their very blood and flesh. Jacquetta’s ever brimming eyes full of her shrewdness, and how Warwick calls out ‘Edward!’ in the very first episode, as if a parent is trying to gently persuade a child, but with slight underlying intimidation. So simple, but encapsulating perfectly the Kingmaker’s initial overriding influence over the King Edward IV. It was marvelously done.
The drama combines the three books from Philippa Gregory’s The Cousins Wars series: The White Queen, Kingmaker’s Daughter, and The Red Queen. This has its limitations – whereas the portrayal of each characters on their own merit were fantastic, how these key women (Elizabeth Woodville, Anne Neville, Margaret Beaufort) were emotionally interconnected were only fleetingly shown. The intensity of the terror Anne felt for Elizabeth, or the icy coldness Elizabeth shows to the Warwick sisters is definitely there, but is not tangible enough to be the central driving force of the story.
If you are planning to watch The White Queen to learn more about the Wars of the Roses, you would be slightly disappointed. It doesn’t really bother explaining family lines and why Yorks and Lancasters are both claiming the throne. I haven’t read The Red Queen yet, and even on Episode 6 I am utterly clueless why Margaret Beaufort believes her son would be the the King of England or who the hell is Jasper Tudor.
To make up for this, you can also watch The Real White Queen and Her Rivals, a documentary series narrated by Philippa Gregory herself, that digs deeper into the relationship and history of the three women at the War of the Roses.
Despite a few limitations, I am still thoroughly enjoying BBC’s The White Queen and am gutted to see that it only goes up to 10 episodes. I give it five stars, without hesitation.
* And here is a show for the ultimate history geeks who are going through The White Queen obsession like I am:
The Time Team Series 18, Episode 7. It’s about Groby Old Hall in Leicestershire which was once home to Elizabeth Woodville.
July 13, 2016 at 19:33
That documentary was not accurate and good. It made it look like Richard lll was going to marry his niece when the evidence says differently. Total garbage.
November 5, 2014 at 13:55
Επιτέλους βρήκα κάποιον που να αποσαφηνίζει σχετικά με το αυτό το
άρθρο. Το έψαχνα τόσο καιρό.
November 5, 2014 at 13:15
Σερφάρω στο ιντερνέτ σήμερα για περισσότερες από 3 ώρες και δεν
βρήκα πολλά άρθρα που να είναι εξίσου
ενδιαφέροντα με το δικό σας.
Πιστεύω ότι αν όλοι οι αρθρογράφοι των sites έφτιαχναν τέτοιο
ποιοτικό περιεχόμενο το ιντερνετ, θα ήταν
πολύ καλύτερο για όλους.
November 4, 2014 at 10:45
Φοβερό άρθρο.Keep thee good work
August 8, 2013 at 14:34
I am looking forward to watching this series! Love Philippa Gregory!
August 10, 2013 at 15:39
Series are definitely worth investing your time in!
October 2, 2013 at 04:46
The battle of Barnet was not accurately depicted. The Earl of Oxford
played s pivotal role in the outcome why was this not mentioned?