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The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
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The Sunne in Splendour (1982)

by Sharon Kay Penman

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2,056654,811 (4.47)293
Recently added bythurible, private library, PostandBeam, dana_hilldale, juan_de_onate, yhgail, loracarlson
  1. 51
    The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey (LisaMaria_C)
    LisaMaria_C: For me The Daughter of Time and The Sunne in Splendour go hand in hand. The first is the classic mystery "solving" the mystery of the Two Princes in the Tower and the second a sympathetic biographical novel of Richard III which is well-researched and moving.… (more)
  2. 00
    We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman (Imprinted)
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» See also 293 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Very well written. ( )
  loracarlson | Feb 18, 2019 |
The subtitle of this book should be changed from "A Novel of Richard III" to "THE Novel of Richard III". If anyone is looking for a way into the life of Richard III, then this is it. I was hooked from page one and could not put it down. It is meticulously researched and beautifully written. I am definitely sympathetic to Richard and the poignancy of his remains having been found recently only adds to this.
Sharon Penman gets inside the mind and the times of Richard and his family and portrays them as real people, not the monsters or heroes drawn in other works (including Shakespeare). You can see the troubles and loyalties which shaped Richard as a boy; his admiration of his brother, Edward IV; and his love for Anne Neville. The story leads us through Richard's inevitable decisions following Edward's death and the revelation that the king's marriage was illegitimate. Penman shows us, not an evil, scheming wicked uncle, but a true statesman faced with impossible situations. The whole spectrum of characters is displayed with a truth which is so engaging you miss them when they've died or once you've finished the book. It's so close to reality that you find yourself hoping that Richard can find a way of avoiding Bosworth and remain king! ( )
  Jawin | Feb 11, 2018 |
This massive tome is very impressive on the most part and deserves its reputation as one of the best ever works of historical fiction.

Interested as I am by the Wars of the Roses, I found the recreation of the historic events and people engaging, especially during the first three-quarters of the novel.

The author has a talent for writing conflict between characters. Conflict is, of course, a major ingredient in creating a gripping narrative.

Ms Penman’s version of Edward IV is the best I’ve come across in historical fiction so far. The real King Edward is fascinating, and the author does a great job of bringing him to life, portraying him pretty much how I’d imagine Edward to be.

Once Edward “leaves the palace”, the story loses some of its hold on me. I’m also fascinated by Richard III, and was a little disappointed with how he was portrayed once he took the throne. This is perhaps down to the author’s transparent aim to show Richard in a good light.

This is usually the case with historical authors in general – they’re either strongly for or strongly against Richard, which undermines the believability of his character.

Early in the book, the author does a brilliant job of depicting the Battle of Towton. Because of this, I grew excited during the build-up to Bosworth, but felt ultimately let down by the results. It’s skimmed over and *told* in backstory, which is a method that can never compete with *showing* a scene it as it unfolds.

Events that follow Bosworth are slow and unengaging. You could say the story “fades out” rather than coming to a definitive “stop”.

As well as the disappointment with Bosworth and what follows to the end, my other criticisms regard various style issues. One is the absence of conjunctions in numerous sentences. I guess this was a way to reduce the word count, but the problem is, the results read awkwardly, as the two quotes below demonstrate:

>He felt better at that, swung off the window seat."Yes, I... I think so," she said, very low, moved to put space between them.Dickon was still ten days from his nineteenth birthday.She was so young, just five months beyond her second birthdayBess saw her first, gave a gasp of dismay.But then she gave a surprised gasp. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Jan 15, 2018 |
I've been avoiding this book. I shouldn't have because it is freaking compulsive. I'll see you all in about 900 pages . . . ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
3.5 stars

This is a novel about Richard III of England. He was the youngest of the three (living) York brothers from the “Wars of the Roses” (York vs. Lancaster). His oldest brother, Edward, was King of England and produced two sons, later known as the “Princes in the Tower”. Edward and Richard got along very well, and Richard was named “Protector” to Edward’s oldest son (also Edward) when Edward himself died, but both Edward’s sons later disappeared. To history, many believe that Richard murdered his nephews.

Ok, I guess I’m all over the place with that description. The book was good, but it took me a long time to get “into” it. There are a lot of people with the same name, so that takes getting used to, in addition to getting used to various people’s titles and nicknames! It was at least 1/3 of the way in before I was interested. The war parts of the books don’t really interest me. I find I’m also more interested in historical fiction from a woman’s viewpoint. It was when Anne was more of a focus (she married Richard) that I got more interested, so I did find their relationship a part of the book I really enjoyed. It is a very long book, however. Overall, I’m rating it as “I liked it”, but it took a while to get there. ( )
  LibraryCin | Nov 1, 2016 |
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To Julie McCaskey Wolff
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Richard did not become frightened until darkness began to settle over the woods.
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And what of those who didn't know him? What happens, too, when all who knew him are dead, when people know only what they've been told? What truth will we be talking about, then?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345363132, Paperback)

"The reader is left with the haunting sensation that perhaps the good a man does can live after him--especially in the hands of a dedicated historian."
SAN DIEGO UNION
In this stirring historical novel, Sharon Kay Penman redeems Richard III from his villainous role in history as the hulking, evil hunchback. This dazzling recreation of his life is filled with the sights and sounds of battle, and the passions of the highborn. Most of all, it brings to life a gifted man whose greatest sin was that he held principles too firmly for the times in which he lived, and loved too deeply to survive love's loss.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Departing from the traditional Shakespearian and Tudor historical portraits, this saga depicts the love story of Richard III and Anne Neville against the backdrop of royal family intrigue.

» see all 5 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Sharon Kay Penman is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Author Chat

Sharon Kay Penman chatted with LibraryThing members from Aug 10, 2009 to Aug 21, 2009. Read the chat.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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