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The White Princess
 
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The White Princess [Format Kindle]

Philippa Gregory
4.4 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (9 commentaires client)

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Extrait

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

dreaming.

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

myself.

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

spy.

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 that she does

not regard it, that Mother will have it annulled; but presumably

she is Lady Scrope, the wife of a defeated Yorkist, ...

Revue de presse

* 'Popular historical fiction at its finest, immaculately researched and superbly told' The Times
* 'Philippa Gregory evokes passion, murder, magic and mystery to bring the Wars of the Roses to life' Good Housekeeping
* 'It is a terrific story, told with Gregory's customary confidence and zest' The Sunday Times
* 'Gregory creates feisty, attractive heroines… Fast-paced, convincing, vivid and engrossing' Daily Express
* 'Gregory paints her portraits in bold primary colours. There are few shades of grey in her fiction.' Sunday Express
* 'Philippa Gregory continues her Cousins' War series in impressive style' Star
* 'It's a fascinating historical story' Woman

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Commentaires en ligne 

4.4 étoiles sur 5
4.4 étoiles sur 5
Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 aspects inconnus du règne d'henry VII d'angleterre 17 juillet 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
dans un contexte historique exact, philippa gregory donne une version mal connue de la disparition des deux fils d'edward IV. Le plus jeune aurait été sauvé par un stratagème de sa mère, aurait vécu son enfance à l'étranger, et serait réapparu comme prétendant légal au début du règne d'henry VII. Or sa soeur (si c'est vraiment lui) est l'épouse d'henry VII. Il s'ensuit pour elle un cas de conscience qui tient du suspense.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 white princess 30 juin 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
, P G le maître du roman historique et j'aime tout ce qu'elle écrit. Les personnages fictifs paraissent aussi réels que les personnages historiques.
Je le recommande à tous ceux qui sont férus d'histoire
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Another good book 23 juin 2014
Par Monheim
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Philippa Gregory toujours aussi agréable à lire; elle parvient à faire vivre l'histoire vraie mais combine humaine à la fois.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another fascinating story from Philippa Gregory 18 mai 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
If only history had been this interesting at school I
might have taken an interest!
I've really got hooked and to date have read them all.
This one is a great read too but they do really need to be
read in the right order to really get the picture.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Genial ! 2 avril 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
On replonge completement dans cet univers de rois et de reines, trahison, manipulation... On croirait y être ! Je le conseille :)
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