Review: Elizabeth Woodville, A Life, The Real Story of the White Queen by David MacGibbon

Title: Elizabeth Woodville, A Life, The Real Story of the White Queen
Author: David MacGibbon
Publisher: Amberley 5 June 2013
Genre: Non-fiction
Labels: Elizabeth Woodville, The White Queen, Tudor, House of York, House of Lancaster, House of Neville's, House of Plantagenet, The War of the Roses, England, 16th Century, 1500's, British Monarchy, British History, Richard III, Edward IV
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 256, with 21 illustrations of which 13 are in color
Rating: 4 Stars
There is a huge interest in reading about the White Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. I follow several Facebook groups where many of the members hold strong opinions with each other on Elizabeth, as well as with author's who depict her as villainous, or with sympathy. With either opinion there will be conflict and possible arguments for the other belief.
Fans of Richard III are also quite strong in their opinions.
I find all this fascinating!

What are your feelings on author's depictions of historical fiction on British royals? Do you have favorite books or author's? Do you have author's whom you trust more for an honest portrayal? Do you enjoy reading a variety of author's and just take it "all" in stride?

Elizabeth Woodville, also spelled as Wydeville, was the first born child of Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta. Her parents would have several children afterwards. Her birth is noted as being in 1437. At an early age Elizabeth was one of four ladies of the bedchamber in Queen Margaret of Anjou's court. Her family was well-respected and favored. Elizabeth was first married to Sir John Grey. He was a commander in the Lancaster army. They had two sons before he died in battle. Her choice in marriage according to the author may have began the intense hatred of her to Earl of Warwick, also known as the King Maker. The Earl of Warwick would be a thorn that scratched them both for many years. As a young widow Elizabeth was noticed by Edward IV. The quick marriage, and it was done in secret, began a lengthy chain of gossip and myth surrounding Elizabeth and her family. The author David MacGibbon has written a wonderful non-fiction work with the focus on what is fact, not fluff.

My Thoughts:
In my opinion it is a breath of fresh air when an author writes on a historical figure, and does not seek to sensationalize on what other's have written before. The movie The White Queen will begin tomorrow on BBC1, America will get to watch this in August on Starz. It is adapted from Philippa Gregory's books, The Cousin's War. Other books have been written as well on Elizabeth Woodville, some author's writing more from their instinct about her, or from what other's had written.
I enjoyed reading MacGibbon's account of Elizabeth Woodville, I feel it is a great beginning point for anyone wanting to read about the true Elizabeth Woodville.
Other notable historical character's such as the Lacaster's, Yorks, Edward IV, Richard III, Earl of Warwick and his two daughter's, and Jane Shore, Margaret Beaufort, and young Henry Tudor, are in MacGibbon's book.
I felt the author made a point of steering clear of misconceptions about Elizabeth. The author gave the facts about her, and let me see from her actions that it was apparent she was calculating, intelligent, influential, and charming. She used these traits to her advantage, with the main goal of elevating her family and her station.
She was a savvy woman in an age when men ruled, yet she had a unique blend of personality which included bravery, that even if I may not like her as a person, I admire her tenacity. 

Thank you to Amberley Books for my FREE review copy! 

Link @ publisher:

Link @ Amazon:
Hardcover is out of stock at this date, price $26.96 for hardcover.

Link @ Barnes and Nobles:
Hardcover available, but from a seller in UK, price $26.15 for hardcover.

Link @ Waterstone's in UK:
£16.00 for hardcover. 

Links for more information: link addresses myths about Elizabeth.


  1. Thanks, Annette. I would enjoy this one too. Cheers

  2. This sounds very good. THANKS.

    Silver's Reviews


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