The White Queen: romance, sex, magic, scowling, social snobbery and battles

“The White Queen: romance, sex, magic, scowling, social snobbery and battles” by Amy Licence

How important is authenticity when filming historical dramas?
Terribly important! You should see the notes I sent to the series producers waxing lyrical about the use of horses, clothes, how people travelled, and so on. That sort of thing really matters. However, there are a number of compromises you do have to make when working in film, which can be  very frustrating – that’s why I’m a novelist, I suppose.

Historical fiction, when written well, can teach you these things without you having to study it. (Philippa Gregory, BBC History Magazine Interview)

“It is a little more Romeo and Juliet than accurate medieval protocol.” (Licence)

cecily_1

Elizabeth and her mother Lady Rivers meet the King’s mother in ‘The White Queen’, episode 1.

Sunday nights episode of ‘The White Queen’ in my opinion was great. Put a woman screenwriter together with the BBC and bam! However there was something that really made me angry about the episode and surprise, surprise — I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE who had a problem with it.

Lady Cecily, Duchess of York portrayed by Caroline Goodall.

Lady Cecily, Duchess of York portrayed by Caroline Goodall.

Amy Licence, author of the latest biography of Queen Anne Neville and Elizabeth of York reviewed the first episode. Licence and I agree on this both — she basically sums up that they (screenwriter or Gregory herself) REALLY screwed up on behalf of Lady Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (grandaunt of Anne Neville); thank you Lord!

Jacquetta Rivers portrayed by Janet McTeer and Lady Cecily portrayed by Caroline Goodall

Jacquetta Rivers portrayed by Janet McTeer and Lady Cecily portrayed by Caroline Goodall

“It was in the exchange with Duchess Cecily (Caroline Goodall) however, that Jacquetta, as her daughter’s mouthpiece, really overstepped the historical mark. The disapproving Duchess, who was known in real life as “proud Cis,” is too easily overcome by her social inferiors when they whip out her apparent “secret” affair with a French archer. Lost for words, she is silenced within minutes, almost cowed by them. While contemporary notions of “courtesy” dictated extreme forms of submission to the queen, this is a Cecily straight from the pages of a novel rather than the actual proud aristocrat who asserted her own right to rule.”

I’m going to be brutally honest here — are you kidding me?? I don’t like Jacquetta’s “holier than thou” attitude that is emerging. This was obviously a horrid and tasteless attempt to boost Jacquetta’s influence and “power” over the Duchess. It’s more than obvious that Gregory has become obsessed with Jacquetta and her daughter. In my opinion, if they REALLY wanted to boost Jacquetta SO much — they could have done it in a different way. They didn’t have to insult the King’s mother, the daughter of a powerful Earl and Countess Lady Joan Beaufort, granddaughter of a royal Duke of Lancaster and titular King of Castile [son of King Edward III of England], and widow of the Duke of York [double descendant of Edward III]! I know it didn’t happen in history, but still — that scene should have been cut or done differently. If they had been at court and the Duchess had been sitting with her son, I do not think the two would have addressed each other as such and Elizabeth wouldn’t have pulled the Queen card after letting her mother b***h out her mother-in-law. It’s rather ironic that Elizabeth comes in flabbergasted, but after her mother calls her mother-in-law a whore she has the nerve and guts to demand the Duchess bow down to her; then gloats to her husband how everyone is “great friend’s” now. Yeah, sure — Elizabeth is now best friends with “Duchess Cecily”. I don’t think Gregory thought about court etiquette when writing these books and whoever approved the scene has not read any history books lately.

Margaret Beaufort portrayed by Amanda Hale and Lord Warwick portrayed by James Frain

Margaret Beaufort portrayed by Amanda Hale and Lord Warwick portrayed by James Frain

“James Frain, recently lauded for his performance as Thomas Cromwell in The Tudors, may well emerge to steal the show alongside Margaret Beaufort and the other York brothers…” Even Licence applauds Lady Margaret Beaufort early on.

For the complete review — http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/06/white-queen-romance-sex-magic-scowling-social-snobbery-and-battles

Advertisements

STARZ ‘The White Queen’: The Kingmaker’s Daughters

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Lady Anne (Faye Marsay); daughters of Lord and Lady Warwick.

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) and Lady Anne (Faye Marsay); daughters of Lord and Lady Warwick.

Lady to Queen

Lady Anne and Lady Isabella of Warwick

Lady Anne and Lady Isabel of Warwick [fan art by tudorquen6, episode 2]

“Daughter of Lord Warwick “The Kingmaker” (James Frain). Anne is a timid girl who becomes a pawn in her unruly father’s struggle for power. As little girls, Anne and her sister Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) pretend to be Queen and dream of the royal life along with the finery it will bring. But as Anne grows older, she begins to understand the reality and danger associated with actually wearing the crown. Those who possess it must always watch their back for those trying to take it. And those who want their hands on it will lie, cheat and kill to make it happen. Anne is not sure if constantly living in fear is the life she wants to lead.” — STARZ1yorks

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.

Lady Anne (Faye Marsay)

Lady Anne (Faye Marsay)

At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy.

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson)

Lady Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson)

Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker’s daughter will achieve her father’s greatest ambition. (Gregory)

Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury portrayed by James Frain

Sir Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and 6th Earl of Salisbury portrayed by James Frain

“The master manipulator who helps King Edward IV attain the throne. As a close confidant of Edward, Lord Warwick uses his powers of persuasion and deception against all the right people to elevate his young protégé to his position atop all of England. When Elizabeth and Edward marry, the power-hungry Warwick loses his grip on the monarchy, leaving his plan to have a say in all things political lying in ruins. Incensed at losing Edward’s ear, Warwick vows to have him replaced in a series of twisted plots designed to bring him back into a position of power. If his daughters meet and marry the right suitors, Warwick could soon find himself back in the political mix.” — STARZ

Lady Warwick (Juliet Aubrey) with her daughters.

Lady Warwick (Juliet Aubrey) with her daughters, episode 4.

Lady Anne (later Queen) is portrayed by Faye Marsay and Lady Isabel (Duchess of Clarence) is portrayed by Eleanor Tomlinson.

Their mother, Lady Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick is portrayed by Juliet Aubrey.

Philippa Gregory's new covers to promote "The White Queen."

Philippa Gregory’s new covers to promote “The White Queen.”

Lady Anne’s titles were as followed:

  • Lady Anne of Warwick (1456-1470)
  • Princess of Wales (1470-1471) as wife to Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
  • Dowager Princess of Wales (1471-1472) as widow of Prince Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales.
  • Duchess of Gloucester (1472-1483) as wife to Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
  • Queen consort of England (1483-1485) as wife to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who became King Richard III in 1483.
Fan art by tudorqueen6

Fan art by tudorqueen6

Both Anne and Isabel were nieces of Lady Alice FitzHugh (born Neville) (paternal great-grandmother of Queen Katherine Parr). Parr’s grandmother, Elizabeth FitzHugh, was cousin to Lady Anne and Lady Isabel and served as a lady to Queen Anne. The two families, FitzHugh and Neville (Lord Warwick), were close due to the proximity of the two families; they lived near each other and FitzHugh was close to both the Earl of Salisbury and his son, the Earl of Warwick. Queen Anne personally appointed Elizabeth and her mother Lady Alice much like Woodville did with Parr’s maternal great-grandmother Lady Fogge. Both women were part of the coronation of King Richard and Queen Anne and received gifts from the King. However, Elizabeth’s husband (Parr’s grandfather), refused his part in the coronation and returned north where he died shortly after. I often wonder what their family thought when Edward married Woodville even though Lord William Parr rose highly under Edward IV.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

STARZ Official Trailer

The White Queen BBC one commercial – Directors cut from Jamie Childs on Vimeo.

See also —

Starz ‘The White Queen’: Elizabeth Woodville

Starz ‘The White Queen’: Lady Margaret Beaufort

Sources

Links