Friday, 4 April 2014

The white queen (2013)

In 1464 Edward IV of York married Elizabeth Woodville. His throne was not very secure. The last Lancaster king Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou were still not beaten and could raise men to assembly an army.
Edward’s brothers George and Richard each wanted the throne for themselves and the last heir of the house of Lancaster, Margaret Beauford wanted the throne for her son, Henry Tudor.
And of course the earl of Warwick played an important role because he was instrumental in making Edward king and then turned against Edward because his influence diminished. 

In a world and a time when life was unsure and land and getting a good position for your family were the only things that mattered, loyalty was scarce. Everybody could turn their coat, enemies could become allies and familymembers could become enemies. Nobodies position was ever certain.

Philippa Gregory wrote a couple of books about this period in history and in 2013 three of them were made into a television series. I watched it a couple of weeks ago and I really enjoyed myself.

The white Queen (from the viewpoint of Elizabeth Woodville), The Red Queen (viewpoint Margaret Beaufort) and The Kingmakers daughter (viewpoint Anne Neville, Warwick’s daughter and Richard’s wife) are mixed very well in these ten episodes that each last 60 minutes.

The series follows the books and this is something you must remember when you watch it. After all, the books are historical fiction and this series is also fiction, not a documentary. Philippa Gregory wrote a compelling story, but of course she used her imagination a lot and this also shows in the series. For example in this series it looks like Richard III was a completely innocent man and not guilty of murdering his nephews.

But if you do not take it too seriously, there is enough to be enjoyed.
A lot of the filming was done in Belgium, in the towns of Gent and Brugge. Despite the sometimes weird costumes and silly mistakes, the way the series looks is quite all right and according to the timeperiod.
I admire how Amanda Hale portrayed Margaret Beauford. Despite the fact she is clearly unbalanced and fantatical, you can also feel her torment and you cannot help but feeling sorry for her. Janet McTeer as Elizabeth's mother and James Frain as Warwick were also excellent.

Edward IV (Max Irons) and Elizabeth (Rebecca Ferguson)

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