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The Sunne in Splendour (1982)

by Sharon Kay Penman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,231715,681 (4.46)359
Richard, last-born son of the Duke of York, was seven months short of his nineteenth birthday when he bloodied himself at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, earning his legendary reputation as a battle commander and ending the Lancastrian line of succession. But Richard was far more than a warrior schooled in combat. He was also a devoted brother, an ardent suitor, a patron of the arts, an indulgent father, a generous friend. Above all, he was a man of fierce loyalties, great courage and firm principles, who was ill at ease among the intrigues of Edward's court. The very codes Richard lived by ultimately betrayed him. But he was betrayed by history too. Leaving no heir, his reputation was at the mercy of his successor, and Henry Tudor had too much at stake to risk mercy. Thus was born the myth of the man who would stop at nothing to gain the throne. Filled with the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and love of daily life, the rigours and dangers of Court politics and the touching concerns of very real men and women, The Sunne in Splendour is a richly coloured tapestry of medieval England.… (more)
  1. 61
    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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Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Although this is not one of my favorite Penman books-it still is a masterpiece of historical fiction. As this is her first novel, it is astounding how good it actually is. I read somewhere that she started writing this tome by hand and lost it, and began again!

The book is advertised as "A novel of Richard III" when in my head it is the story of the York's and Lancaster's and The War of The Roses. Both houses claimed the throne through descent from the sons of Edward III.

The story begins when Richard is a small boy in 1459, who suffers more loss in his formative years than any boy deserves. It carries through to his death in 1485. Penman paints a much different picture than the one I had envisioned of Richard. The man you come to know seems loving and kind and like any true hero, he fights for Country and family. Also, my perception of Elizabeth Woodville (Edward the IV's wife and RIchard's sister-in-law) has changed dramatically. Having read all of Penman's books now, I trust her research; this is how I will think of Richard III now-no hunchback, no evil heart (though there are things he felt he had to do, once on again for Country and family).

There is no one better at writing this sort of story. I wait with bated breath for The Land Beyond the Sea the story of The Kingdom of Jerusalem, also known as 'Outremer', the land beyond the sea. ( )
  JBroda | Sep 24, 2021 |
Well written. Too damn long. ( )
  MuggleBorn930 | Jul 11, 2021 |
I would give this book more stars if I could. Definitely one of the BEST books I have ever read in my life. I have read countless books on Richard III and this is by far the best. All the other books I've read, penned by other authors, seemed to keep key events happening the same way, this book totally flipped them which kept it interesting for me. At 900 pages, I read every word even though I know Richard's history like the back of my hand. LOVED IT! ( )
  ChrisCaz | Feb 23, 2021 |
George R.R Martin must have read this 1,600 page historical dramatisation of the War of the Roses before embarking on his own Game Of Thrones.

Penman gives a sympathetic portrayal of the long-reviled king, Richard III, as a loving husband and honest man brought down by power-hungry schemers.

This period of history has always been vague to me, and Penman brought this volatile time to colourful life. Full of scheming, double-crossing, betrayal & scrambles for power. Fascinating. ( )
  LARA335 | Dec 10, 2020 |
Borrow thru LACounty to read.
  Smoscoso | Nov 4, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Richard, last-born son of the Duke of York, was seven months short of his nineteenth birthday when he bloodied himself at the battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury, earning his legendary reputation as a battle commander and ending the Lancastrian line of succession. But Richard was far more than a warrior schooled in combat. He was also a devoted brother, an ardent suitor, a patron of the arts, an indulgent father, a generous friend. Above all, he was a man of fierce loyalties, great courage and firm principles, who was ill at ease among the intrigues of Edward's court. The very codes Richard lived by ultimately betrayed him. But he was betrayed by history too. Leaving no heir, his reputation was at the mercy of his successor, and Henry Tudor had too much at stake to risk mercy. Thus was born the myth of the man who would stop at nothing to gain the throne. Filled with the sights and sounds of battle, the customs and love of daily life, the rigours and dangers of Court politics and the touching concerns of very real men and women, The Sunne in Splendour is a richly coloured tapestry of medieval England.

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

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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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