So, after I finished “The White Queen” on Amazon video, I, of course, had to continue the story and watch “The White Princess.” This was not the first time I have seen the show, but as a Philippa Gregory fan, I had to watch it again.
My first reaction was that I wish they had kept some of the same cast. I understand that they’re all older, but “Princess” happened right after “Queen.” Like, literally right after. “The White Queen” ends with Richard III dying at the battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor being crowned king. “The White Princess” starts off with Elizabeth of York (Lizzie) finding out that Henry was now king. Now, I understand that making the parents of the main cast older, as they are much older than they were at the start of “The White Queen.” Still, they could have used the same actress for Lizzie and Henry. The only person who was played by the same actress was Lizzie’s grandmother, Duchess Cecily. I know this shouldn’t have bothered me, but it did.
Another thing that bothered me was that Lizzie went from hating Henry to loving him in such a quick fashion. I realize that after a few years you grow to love someone, but Henry had done so many bad things to her. He practically raped her. He locked up her cousin, who was a very innocent, mentally challenged young boy. He even ordered that, when the soldiers went to fetch her at the end of the battle of Bosworth, the soldiers should kill “any boy they find there.” So, he essentially ordered the death of her brother. He also killed Richard III, who was supposedly Lizzie’s love and lover. I don’t understand how she is able to forgive him all of that, let alone love him.
The book goes a little more into Lizzie’s feelings towards Henry. He’s very suspicious about those around him and is always thinking that there is a plot going on. He often accuses Lizzie of conspiring against him, and she resents him for it. While the book does say that they love each other, it seems more plausible to have them dislike each other.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing series. It follows the book fairly well, minus the animosity between Lizzie and Henry at times. Lizzie is a very relatable character. I felt very sorry for her, since her mother seemed to care more for her son than she did Lizzie and Lizzie’s children. She was constantly plotting to get Henry off the throne, even though she had married Lizzie to him for her to be queen. I realize that Elizabeth’s son Richard would have been the rightful king, but she is basically plotting against her own daughter in favor of her son. I felt so bad for Lizzie because she is forced into the marriage against her will and then has her mother going against her.
I would have liked to have the series continue until Elizabeth’s death. A big part of the story was the curse that Elizabeth and Lizzie cast upon the people who killed the princes in the tower. It’s revealed that Henry’s mother ordered the deaths, but since the youngest boy, Richard, got away, the curse was not complete. With Henry ordering the death of the “pretender,” who Lizzie believes is her brother, the curse would be completely upon the house of Tudor. The curse said that the male line would die out. Lizzie is constantly telling Henry that they cannot kill the “pretender” because it would be the death of her boys. If the story continued, we would see Lizzie’s reaction to her oldest Arthur’s death, which is part of the fulfillment of the curse. However, the story ended almost abruptly after Lizzie witnessed the death of her cousin Teddy and her supposed brother. It just felt incomplete.
Anyway, don’t think I’m too harsh on this series. Is it as good as “The White Queen”? No, I don’t think so. That seemed to be a more complete story. However, if you watched that, you really should continue the story.
To purchase the season of “The White Princess,” go here.
Tags: book, historical fiction, Starz, the white princess, the white queen, tudor, tv series
Just a forewarning to anyone who may read this, I do not normally do reviews. I don’t feel very comfortable at reviewing anything, so I figured I’d start with a recent movie I saw – Murder on the Orient Express.
It is, of course, based on the novel by the same name. The novel was written by Agatha Christie, one of the most notorious names in the murder mystery genre. I have not read anything by this author, but have seen some local theater productions of a few of her stories.
The movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh and he starred in it as the lead: Hercule Poirot. The movie included very well known actors and actresses: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Penolope Cruz, Willam Dafoe, Judi Dench, just to name a few.
The movie starts with Hercule Poirot solving a “whodunnit case” in Jerusalem. We quickly see that he is obsessive compulsive, which adds humor in the story from time to time due to it. After solving the case and explaining it to a large crowd, he is off to take a vacation from solving mysteries. Not even the first day he is taking a mental health day, he runs into a well known friend, Bouc, who suggests taking holiday on his locomotive, The Orient Express. It is there that a murder takes place, leaving Hercule Poirot the only one who can solve it and save Bouc’s name.
Overall, I really enjoyed the casting and thought the cast did an excellent and very believable renditions of their characters. The scenic shots were beautiful and some of the shots in general were very interesting. Such as one scene where Poirot is in the victim’s cabin studying the body. It is shot from above and you can see the cabin partition, which allows you to see into Poirot’s unoccupied cabin. I really enjoyed that and felt it worked really well.
However, there was some lines in different languages. Subtitles were used, but I didn’t think there was enough lines to justify having them in different languages. They could have omitted them and saved the time to read subtitles. I get why they did what they did, but I felt if they were going to go that route, more scenes in different languages would have been better.
The worst offense was that it dragged on. Movies that are 2 hours should not feel like they are 2 hours. At the end of a 2 hours movie I want to say “Wow! That was 2 hours?! It went by so quick!” Some scenes could have been omitted or lines could have been cut.
I also must have missed it, because there were characters that were on the train that I did not realize were there until closer to the end of the movie. They played a small part in everything, and were pretty much useless. Again, I get why the characters were in the movie and have a huge revel as to who they are and why they are apart of the case, but a little more involvement from them would have been nice.
I gave this movie 3 stars, only because I have not read an Agatha Christie novel and therefore can’t compare this to the book. I am not sure how, where, or why it differs, so I am going to use caution and rate it 3 instead of 4.
What did you think? If you read the book, let me know if it was close to the original content or if it strayed.
Tags: agatha christie, book, casting, film, hercule poirot, languages, movie, murder, murder on the orient express, mystery, Review, train, whodunnit
I am K. I couldn’t possibly let Jen do all the posting, but let me say she has been wonderful when it comes to this website. For the most part, I feel you will see most of the posts will be from her. I will try to be as active as she is, but I make no promises.
As you saw, the title of this is Always Bring a Book. This is very important to me given how my day went today. I am, as some would say, a “big reader.” True, I do love reading, but I read so slow that I cannot read as many books as some of my friends can in a year. I started It by Stephen King in the beginning of this month (after the 2017 movie release I feel like everyone is reading it now) and I haven’t even hit page 50 yet. With birthdays, a wedding, my full time job, and my love of sleep, picking up the novel is not a priority most days. With over 1,000 pages, it’s also very intimidating.
Tags: book, books, boredom, e-reader, it, kindle, nook, read, reading, stephen king, work
So, I feel like I must begin this review with the following disclaimer: I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan. I’ve read just about every book she’s written about the War of the Roses and the Tudors. That being said, there’s a reason that I’ve read so many of her books: she’s a phenomenal Historical Fiction writer.
For those who may not have heard of this genre before, Historical Fiction is when an author takes a person or event from history and uses facts to create fiction. My first foray into Historical Fiction was with Gregory’s “The Other Boleyn Girl.” Many of you may have seen the movie based on this novel which featured Eric Bana as Henry VIII. Trust me, the book was better
Anywho, on to “The King’s Curse.” This was not one of my favorite novels by Gregory, but I think it may be in part that I don’t know very much about the character Margaret Pole. Yes, she was touched upon briefly in the TV show “The Tudors,” but she was featured more in the show “The White Princess,” which was based on another of Gregory’s novels of the same name. However, it’s hard to really relate to the character, in my opinion. I think it may have been because she was more of a bystander to history rather than being a part of it, even though the whole book was based around the 40 or so years of her life.
The novel starts off with Margaret already married to her husband, Sir Richard Pole. She was married to him against her will in order to “get rid of her name,” as is mentioned multiple times in the novel. This is due to the fact that her birth name is Margaret Plantagenet. For those who do not know, the Plantagenet’s were the ruling family during the War of the Roses. They were usurped by Henry Tudor (Henry VII, Henry VIII’s father) who was married to Elizabeth of York, the daughter of a previous monarch. Tudor won his crown after the death of Richard III at the battle of Bosworth. This is a very important part of the story, as it pertains to the “King’s curse.”
The aforementioned curse is one that has been tossed around in Gregory’s novels multiple times. It states that the family who had ordered the death of the Princes in the Tower would have their line end with a barren woman within a few generations. Many believe that Richard III killed his nephews, but it was never proven. Some even think that the youngest son, Richard, was smuggled out of the Tower and showed up at court during Henry VII’s reign under the name Perkin Warbeck. He was executed as a caveat from Isabelle of Castille before her daughter Katherine of Aragon could marry Henry VII’s son Arthur, the Prince of Wales. So, if Warbeck really was Prince Richard, then the Tudors are indeed cursed.
Arthur and Katherine are married and put under the care of Margaret and her husband in Wales. Within a few months, Arthur dies of the Sweat, a sickness which is also called the “curse of the Tudors.” While many believed that the marriage was consummated, Katherine denies this and goes on to become the first wife of Henry VIII.
Margaret watches as Henry puts Katherine aside because he believed that the marriage between Katherine and Arthur was consummated and thus she could never give him an heir other than the Princess Mary. Margaret was Mary’s guardian since she was born, and she loves her like a mother. Many of Margaret’s actions trace back to this love between a guardian and her charge and Margaret’s desire to keep her royal family out of danger because of their name.
The curse is only believeable because Henry’s only surviving son Edward dies very young with no children of his own. The throne goes to Mary, who marries but also has no children. The Tudor line ends with Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen.
As I said, I believe that the reason I could not get as engrossed in this novel, like I do with most of Gregory’s novels, is because Margaret is more of a bystander rather than an active participant. Her sons were much more active, especially in the Pilgrimage of Faith. Margaret’s inaction in most of these events is understandable, since she didn’t want to draw attention to her family with their Plantagenet blood. However, it doesn’t lead to a very exciting novel.
While I do recommend this novel, as it is very informative, I found it rather dull. I would not recommend this as your first Gregory novel, but if you’ve read some of her work before, it’s definitely a good read. It crosses over some with her other novel “The Constant Princess,” which is based on the life of Queen Katherine of Aragon. I highly recommend reading the War of the Roses novels before this one, since a lot of the events are pertinent to the events that came before. Reading those novels first will provide some more insight.
TLDR; A great read, but read it after the War of the Roses novels
Buy it on Amazon
Tags: book, fiction, historical, historical fiction, kindle, Philippa Gregory, Review, The King's Curse