INTERVIEW: The White Queen writer Philippa Gregory

"This is the family before the Tudors, and I think they're just as interesting. It's not a history documentary. It's entertainment."

Philippa Gregory
(Image credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The White Queen, which makes its United States debut on Starz this weekend, is a historical drama that offers an unconventional perspective on England's War of the Roses by focusing on three women: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville, who each vied for power during the era. It may not feature any dragons, but The White Queen offers a vision of the real-life events that's as packed with backdoor deals and backstabbing as Game of Thrones. "Men go to battle," reads the show's tagline. "Women wage war."

Though it's a drama based on history, The White Queen's unique narrative springs directly from the work of a single woman: Philippa Gregory, a writer and historian who has built her career on historical fiction. Though several of her novels have been adapted as miniseries, TV movies, and theatrical features — including The Other Boleyn Girl, which starred Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson — The White Queen is the first time her work has been adapted as a full-blown TV series.

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