The White Princess.pdf

The White Princess.pdf


"Loyalties are torn, paranoia festers and you can almost hear the bray of royal trumpets as the period springs to life. It’s a bloody irresistible read." (People Magazine)

"Bring on the blood, sex and tears! . . . You name it, it's all here." (USA Today)

“This rich tapestry brings to vivid life the court of Henry and Elizabeth. Meticulously drawn characters with a seamless blending of historical fact and fiction combine in a page-turning epic of a story. Tudor-fiction fans can never get enough, and they will snap this one up.” (Library Journal (starred review))

"The White Princess features one of the more intriguing theories about the possible fate of the princes." (The Washington Post)

"This is the most fascinating and complex of the series--not only in history, but in the psychological makeup of the characters, the politics of the era and the blending of actual and reimagined history. Gregory makes everything come to life. . . . This is why Gregory is a queen of the genre." (Romantic Times)

“As usual, Gregory delivers a spellbinding . . . exposé.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Elizabeth must navigate the treacherous waters of marriage, maternity, and mutiny in an age better at betrayal than childbirth. . . . At this novel’s core lies a political marriage seen in all its complexity.” (Publishers Weekly)

"Replete with intrigue and heartrending drama." (Booklist)

“Gregory returns with another sister act. The result: her best novel in years.” (USA Today)

“Gregory delivers another vivid and satisfying novel of court intrigue, revenge, and superstition. Gregory’s many fans as well as readers who enjoy lush, evocative writing, vividly drawn characters, and fascinating history told from a woman’s point of view will love her latest work.” (Library Journal)

“Gregory is one of historical fiction’s superstars, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter shows why . . . providing intelligent escape, a trip through time to a dangerous past.” (Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice Review))

“Wielding magic again in her latest War of the Roses novel … Gregory demonstrates the passion and skill that has made her the queen of English historical fiction.…Gregory portrays spirited women at odds with powerful men, endowing distant historical events with drama, and figures long dead or invented with real-life flaws and grand emotions. She makes history … come alive for readers.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Gregory ... always delivers the goods.” (New York Post)

“Gorgeous fun.” (New York Daily News)

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are th basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website,

Sheriff Hutton Castle, Yorkshire,

Autumn 1485

I wish I could stop dreaming. I wish to God I could stop dreaming.

I am so tired; all I want to do is sleep. I want to sleep all the

day, from dawn until twilight that every evening comes a little

earlier and a little more drearily. In the daytime, all I think about

is sleeping. But in the night all I do is try to stay awake.

I go to his quiet shuttered rooms to look at the candle as it

gutters in the golden candlestick, burning slowly through the

marked hours, though he will never see light again. The servants

take a taper to a fresh candle every day at noon; each hour burns

slowly away, although time means nothing to him now. Time is

quite lost to him in his eternal darkness, in his eternal timelessness,

though it leans so heavily on me. All day long I wait for the

slow rolling in of the gray evening and the mournful tolling of

the Compline bell, when I can go to the chapel and pray for his

soul, though he will never again hear my whispers, nor the quiet

chanting of the priests.

Then I can go to bed. But when I get to bed I dare not sleep

because I cannot bear the dreams that come. I dream of him.

Over and over again I dream of him.

All day I keep my face smiling like a mask, smiling, smiling,

my teeth bared, my eyes bright, my skin like strained parch-

ment, paper-thin. I keep my voice clear and mellow, I speak

words that have no meaning, and sometimes, when required,

I even sing. At night I fall into my bed as if I were drowning

in deep water, as if I were sinking below the depths, as if the

water were possessing me, taking me like a mermaid, and for a

moment I feel a deep relief as if, submerged in water, my grief

can drain away, as if it were the river Lethe and the currents

can bring forgetfulness and wash me into the cave of sleep; but

then the dreams come.

I don’t dream of his death—it would be the worst of nightmares

to see him go down fighting. But I never dream of the

battle, I don’t see his final charge into the very heart of Henry

Tudor’s guard. I don’t see him hacking his way through. I don’t

see Thomas Stanley’s army sweep down and bury him under

their hooves, as he is thrown from his horse, his sword arm failing,

going down under a merciless cavalry charge, shouting:

“Treason! Treason! Treason!” I don’t see William Stanley raise

his crown and put it on another man’s head.

I don’t dream any of this, and I thank God for that mercy at

least. These are my constant daytime thoughts that I cannot escape.

These are bloody daytime reveries that fill my mind while I

walk and talk lightly of the unseasonal heat, of the dryness of the

ground, of the poor harvest this year. But my dreams at night are

more painful, far more painful than this, for then I dream that

I am in his arms and he is waking me with a kiss. I dream that

we are walking in a garden, planning our future. I dream that I

am pregnant with his child, my rounded belly under his warm

hand, and he is smiling, delighted, and I am promising him that

we will have a son, the son that he needs, a son for York, a son

for England, a son for the two of us. “We’ll call him Arthur,” he

says. “We’ll call him Arthur, like Arthur of Camelot, we’ll call

him Arthur for England.”

The pain, when I wake to find that I have been dreaming

again, seems to get worse every day. I wish to God I could stop


My dearest daughter Elizabeth,

My heart and prayers are with you, dear child; but now, of all

the times in your life, you must act the part of the queen that you

were born to be.

The new king, Henry Tudor, commands you to come to me at

the Palace of Westminster in London and you are to bring your

sisters and cousins. Note this: he has not denied his betrothal to

you. I expect it to go ahead.

I know this is not what you hoped for, my dear; but Richard

is dead, and that part of your life is over. Henry is the victor and

our task now is to make you his wife and Queen of England.

You will obey me in one other thing also: you will smile and

look joyful as a bride coming to her betrothed. A princess does

not share her grief with all the world. You were born a princess

and you are the heir to a long line of courageous women. Lift up

your chin and smile, my dear. I am waiting for you, and I will

be smiling too.

Your loving mother

Elizabeth R

Dowager Queen of England

I read this letter with some care, for my mother has never been

a straightforward woman and any word from her is always

freighted with levels of meaning. I can imagine her thrilling at

another chance at the throne of England. She is an indomitable

woman; I have seen her brought very low, but never, even when

she was widowed, even when nearly mad with grief, have I seen

her humbled.

I understand at once her orders to look happy, to forget that

the man I love is dead and tumbled into an unmarked grave, to

forge the future of my family by hammering myself into marriage

with his enemy. Henry Tudor has come to England, having spent

his whole life in waiting, and he has won his battle, defeated the

rightful king, my lover Richard, and now I am, like England itself,

part of the spoils of war. If Richard had won at Bosworth—and

who would ever have dreamed that he would not?—I would have

been his queen and his loving wife. But he went down under

the swords of traitors, the very men who mustered and swore to

fight for him; and instead I am to marry Henry and the glorious

sixteen months when I was Richard’s lover, all but queen of his

court, and he was the heart of my heart, will be forgotten. Indeed,

I had better hope that they are forgotten. I have to forget them


I read my mother’s letter, standing under the archway of the

gatehouse of the great castle of Sheriff Hutton, and I turn and

walk into the hall, where a fire is burning in the central stone

hearth, the air warm and hazy with woodsmoke. I crumple the

single page into a ball and thrust it into the heart of the glowing

logs, and watch it burn. Any mention of my love for Richard

and his promises to me must be destroyed like this. And I must

hide other secrets too, one especially. I was raised as a talkative

princess in an open court rich with intellectual inquiry, where

anything could be thought, said, and written; but in the years

since my father’s death, I have learned the secretive skills of a


My eyes are filling with tears from the smoke of the fire, but I

know that there is no point in weeping. I rub my face and go to

find the children in the big chamber at the top of the west tower

that serves as their schoolroom and playroom. My sixteen-yearold

sister Cecily has been singing with them this morning, and

I can hear their voices and the rhythmic thud of the tabor as I

climb the stone stairs. When I push open the door, they break

off and demand that I listen to a round they have composed.

My ten-year-old sister Anne has been taught by the best masters

since she was a baby, our twelve-year-old cousin Margaret can

hold a tune, and her ten-year-old brother Edward has a clear

soprano as sweet as a flute. I listen and then clap my hands in

applause. “And now, I have news for you.”

Edward Warwick, Margaret’s little brother, lifts his heavy

head from his slate. “Not for me?” he asks forlornly. “Not news

for Teddy?”

“Yes, for you too, and for your sister Maggie, and Cecily and

Anne. News for all of you. As you know, Henry Tudor has won

the battle and is to be the new King of England.”

These are royal children; their faces are glum, but they are

too well trained to say one word of regret for their fallen uncle

Richard. Instead, they wait for what will come next.

“The new King Henry is going to be a good king to his loyal

people,” I say, despising myself as I parrot the words that Sir

Robert Willoughby said to me as he gave me my mother’s letter.

“And he has summoned all of us children of the House of York

to London.”

“But he’ll be king,” Cecily says flatly. “He’s going to be king.”

“Of course he’ll be king! Who else?” I stumble over the question

I have inadvertently posed. “Him, of course. Anyway, he

has won the crown. And he will give us back our good name and

recognize us as princesses of York.”

Cecily makes a sulky face. In the last weeks before Richard

the king rode out to battle, he ordered her to be married to Ralph

Scrope, a next-to-nobody, to make sure that Henry Tudor could

not claim her as a second choice of bride, after me. Cecily, like

me, is a princess of York, and so marriage to either of us gives a

man a claim to the throne. The shine was taken off me when gossip

said that I was Richard’s lover, and then Richard demeaned

Cecily too by condemning her to a lowly marriage. She claims

now that it was never consummated, now she says th...

From Philippa Gregory, the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series, The White Queen—the latest book in the Cousins’ War series tells the passionate tale of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen.

The White Princess is the gripping story of Elizabeth of York, a princess from birth, who is caught between loyalties in fifteenth-century England. The novel opens as news of the battle of Bosworth spreads, determining not only which royal house has triumphed, Tudor or York, but also which of two suitors she will have to marry: her lover Richard III, or his rival, Henry Tudor.

So it happens that Henry VII snatches the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth Field, locking his marriage with Elizabeth forever. Now, she must marry not only her enemy, but her lover’s murderer and the pretender to the throne. She is forced to create a new royal family with him and his ambitious mother: Margaret Beaufort, the Red Queen. But while the new monarchy can win, it cannot hold power in an England that remembers the House of York with love.

The new king’s greatest fear is that somewhere, outside England, a prince from the House of York is waiting to invade and reclaim the throne. When a young man who would be king leads his army and invades England, Elizabeth must decide whether to recognize him as her brother and a claimant to the throne, or deny him in favor of the husband she is coming to love…


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