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The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

The Sunne in Splendour (original 1982; edition 1990)

by Sharon Kay Penman

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1,746544,083 (4.47)257
Title:The Sunne in Splendour
Authors:Sharon Kay Penman
Info:Ballantine Books (1990), Paperback, 944 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:Historical Fiction, Plantagenet

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The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman (1982)

  1. 31
    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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Do not let the size of this volume intimidate you; within these 1000 pages you will live a lifetime and you will never want it to end.
It’s beautiful and heartbreaking and I don’t know what else to say. Between this and Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s We Speak No Treason I’m ruined for historical fiction about Richard III. Nothing else will ever come close. ( )
  Tess_Elizabeth | Jun 21, 2015 |
Thoroughly engrossing, this novel provides a nuanced and honest examination of the life of Richard III, a controversial figure at the best of times. History really comes alive under Penman's authorship and she achieves that rare gift of the novelist--the awakening of sympathies for even the most reprehensible of characters. Highly recommended and one I would certainly reread, despite the 930-odd pages to wade through. ( )
  rwilliab | Nov 21, 2014 |
This richly detailed historical saga chronicles the life of Richard III, and his love match to Anne Neville, amidst the royal intrigue and family drama of the War of the Roses era. This Richard is an admirable idealist who walks a maze of treachery, from allies as well as enemies. Murder is done in his name, but without his knowledge. He struggles to be his own man, and a good man. In the end, the machinations of the court leave him feeling cursed. He is the last Plantagenet rule of England, a truly romantic figure, in a time full of grandeur, hardship, and passion. Throughout, Richard's love of Anne shines and gives him reason to continue living and fighting.
  ktoonen | Sep 16, 2014 |
Sharon Kay Penman is the best! Richard, Edward, wives, children, friends and enemies come alive. Always historically accurate, this is the best portrayal of the War of Roses I've read and not once does the author use that term. My only complaint is that I wish there were more thorough family trees or a list of names. ( )
  maryreinert | Jul 7, 2014 |
When most people think of Richard III, they picture a hunchbacked villain who was obsessed with being king and who murdered the princes in the Tower as a result. But in this novel, the last Plantagenet king is portrayed in a very different light: Richard (or Dickon, as most characters call him) is noble and loyal to a fault, and these good traits are ultimately what cause his downfall. The novel begins with Dickon's childhood, when his father, the Duke of York, is killed in the war against the Lancastrian Henry VI. Dickon's oldest brother Edward subsequently takes his father's place in leading the Yorkist faction against Henry; eventually, he is crowned as Edward IV, and Dickon becomes one of his most trusted advisers and most skilled battle commanders. But as Edward obtains more and more power, Dickon becomes disillusioned with his brother's morally questionable choices, and the struggle of brother against brother mirrors the broader conflict between York and Lancaster.

As always, in this book Sharon Kay Penman manages to bring the Middle Ages to life. I always enjoy her vivid descriptions of daily life during this period, as well as her depictions of medieval religion, warfare, and politics. This book in particular is a fascinating political study, showing that the cutthroat nature of modern politics is rooted in a long tradition. I also like the fact that this novel approaches Richard III from a countercultural perspective. While I don't know enough about the subject to judge whether Penman's interpretation is justified, it makes sense to me that Henry Tudor (who acceded to the throne after Richard's death) would want to do everything in his power to discredit his predecessor. It's always important to remember that history is written by the victors! All in all, I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Richard III, the War of the Roses, or the Middle Ages in general.
1 vote christina_reads | May 9, 2014 |
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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.
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."
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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 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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