The historical drama The White Queen drew me in right from the beginning. Based on the “Cousins’ War” novels by Philippa Gregory, it tells the story of the rise of Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV, during the Wars of the Roses. The show entwines witchcraft, ambition, betrayal, murder and manipulation into an epic series of intrigue.
Gregory has taken a well-known period of history and interlaced it with more twists and turns than your average maze. What I loved most about this show is its representation of women. In a male-dominated era the role of women is too often overshadowed by the men in power. Yet The White Queen is an enthralling tale of the incredibly powerful female actors of Cousins’ War. It focuses on the main protagonist Queen Elizabeth, as well as her staunch mother Jacquetta, and her rivals Margaret Beaufort and sisters Anne and Isabelle Neville.
Queen Elizabeth is portrayed as a pure and beautiful white rose, which is an allusion to her status as the queen of the House of York. Her main rival Margaret’s fierce and fiery persona is also alluded to in her role as a Lancastrian red rose. I couldn’t find myself choosing a side like I would normally whilst watching a TV series. I wanted to root for both women because of their undeniable intelligence, might and determination.
For many reasons this TV show is an incredible watch for girls. The female characters are strong, fierce, and sure of themselves. Compare this to today when so many girls lack enough self-belief. The women empower themselves to fight for what they want, albeit through underhand and unscrupulous tactics. But this was the necessary means of the time. Nowadays girls have the ability to be like the powerful women in The White Queen without tearing down others in the process.
Girl Museum Inc.