The novel opens in 1464 with the seduction, aided by witchcraft, of the reigning Plantaganent King Edward IV by the famously beautiful Elizabeth Woodville. He is of the family of the white rose, the Plantaganents of York, and he and his two brothers, Richard and George, form a ruling elite.Elizabeth becomes queen of a country that is far from stable, torn apart by the civil war which would later be called The War of the Roses, but at the time was called The Cousin's War, fought by the Lancastrian and Yorkist heirs to the throne of England. After capturing and killing his York rival Henry VI, the famously glamorous King Edward dies suddenly, leaving Elizabeth's twelve-year-old son king. Elizabeth attempts to put her family in place as regent, but Edward's brother Richard becomes regent, then King Richard III, and he takes Elizabeth's two sons to the Tower, where they are imprisoned to prevent any further claim to the throne by Elizabeth and her children.The White Queen is the story of a common woman who becomes queen by virtue of her beauty, a woman who rises to the demands of her position and fights viciously for the success of her family, and a woman whose two sons become the famous missing princes in the Tower. In The White Queen, Philippa Gregory presents the most famous unsolved English mystery from her unique and fascinating perspective, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.