The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III

The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III

by Sharon Kay Penman
4.6 88

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The Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III by Sharon Kay Penman

The classic, magnificent bestselling novel about Richard III, now in a special thirtieth anniversary edition with a new preface by the author

In this triumphant combination of scholarship and storytelling, Sharon Kay Penman redeems Richard III—vilified as the bitter, twisted, scheming hunchback who murdered his nephews, the princes in the Tower—from his maligned place in history.

Born into the treacherous courts of fifteenth-century England, in the midst of what history has called The War of the Roses, Richard was raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother, King Edward IV. Loyal to his friends and passionately in love with the one woman who was denied him, Richard emerges as a gifted man far more sinned against than sinning.

With revisions throughout and a new author's preface discussing the astonishing discovery of Richard's remains five centuries after his death, Sharon Kay Penman's brilliant classic is more powerful and glorious than ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429930093
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 01/22/2008
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 944
Sales rank: 54,892
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

For many years while she was a student and then a tax lawyer, SHARON KAY PENMAN slowly but steadily worked on a novel about the life of Richard III. After finishing the manuscript, however, her only copy was stolen from her car in a busy parking lot. Penman rewrote the entire novel that would become The Sunne in Splendour. When it was originally published in 1982, she quit her job to write full-time. Penman is the author of eight critically acclaimed historical novels and four medieval mysteries, one of which was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America.

For many years while she was a student and then a lawyer, Sharon Kay Penman slowly but steadily worked on a novel about the life of Richard III. However, after finishing the manuscript, her only copy was stolen from her car in a busy parking lot. Devastated but resolved, Penman rewrote the entire novel, which became The Sunne in Splendour. Originally published in 1982, it became a favorite of readers and critics alike, and she soon quit her job to write full-time. Penman is the author of several critically acclaimed historical novels and medieval mysteries, one of which, The Queen's Man, was a finalist for an Edgar Award for Best First Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America.

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Sunne In Splendour: A Novel of Richard III 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read The Sunne in Splendour before reading Shakespeare's Richard III. In my Shakespeare class this year in college I found myself defending Shakespeare's villain because I had grown so attached to the portrayal of Richard in Penman's novel. It is evident that the author did an incredible amount of historical research to bring the characters and their world to life. I am addicted to historical fiction, particularly when set in England. This book has been one of my all time favorites for years!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've just finished reading this book for the 3rd time and I was as enthralled and as eager to turn the pages as I was when I read it the first time! It is a story of political wars, love relationships, intrigue and mystery during the 15th century reign of the Plantangenets. The story so vividly brings to life the era and the people of that time you will find it hard to put it down! It is the best historical novel I've yet to read.
TammyL More than 1 year ago
An excellent novel about two Kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III. I first got interested in Richard III in 2000 when I read a work by Bertram Fields about the princes in the Tower, whom Richard is accused of murdering. After reading what Fields had to say pro and con, I was satisfied that he was innocent. There has been much discussion about the Shakespearean version, taken as it was from very biased sources--people who hated Richard and who demonstrably lied about him. Sharon Penman's novel argues convincingly for his innocence, mostly from his character and the behavior of his peers...including some who were his enemies. She portrays a good man caught in an intolerable conflict of interest and loyalties, stumbling with much self-searching through a quagmire of problems and pitfalls. She does it so well that at times I was teary-eyed. She's done her historical homework very well, and the people who emerge from her pages are unforgettable. There's love, war and betrayal in abundance...not to mention a great deal of information about the Wars of the Roses. I loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very compelling. It shows the truth within Richard III that goes against the play of Shakespeare. Showing him as a shy,honest, and honorable man. If one loves English history, then this is one page turner. It is very detailed in war. Not only mentioning Richard III but the people around him. What really did happen
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite historical fiction book. Anyone interested in War of the Roses or Richard III must read this book!
phineasfreak More than 1 year ago
Not a five star for a few reasons, but a good read nonetheless. The fifth star is for debunking Shakespeare's ridiculous character assassination. Too bad most people will never read this, but carry the image of Richard as a murderous, shrivel armed hunchback.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read the Welsh Princes trilogy and the trilogy on Henry II and Eleanor - and this book like Penman's others, do not disappoint. Her take on Richard III is so different than others I've read - she weaves the fiction into the historical facts into incredible stories that gives one a great understanding of what was happening during that time period. The style I like most about Penman is the fact that she doesn't take "creative license" like so many do and when she does, she will tell you why she did. I've said for a very long time - Alison Weir, Bernard Cornwell and Sharon Kay Penman's books should be required reading. You can only glean so much in a classroom or a history book and it covers so little - but the books - the novels about the history itself makes the history itself so much easier to understand. Penman is wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regardless of your opinion of Richard III and his reign, if you enjoy excellent historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. The historical details, the characterization, the story, the writing; everything about this book is tremendous. You'll become so lost in the people, period, and story that you won't want it to end.
ladylawyer8650 More than 1 year ago
From my reading of this book, Richard was the real sunne--not Edward. Richard was loyal to his family and to York. Had he been more politically expedient perhaps history would have been rewritten. But such acts would have been contrary to his moral being. One could go on forever as to why the circumstances of the time and the personalities of Edward, Richard And George caused this true tragedy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sharon Kay Penman is a master storyteller. She weaves a rich tapestry of characters and brings them to life. This was my first encounter and introduction to her writing style. It takes a while to get into the book and get a grip on the various characters however, I highly recommend this book as well as The Reckoning. Once you start them, they are hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am convinced Shakespeare's Richard III is nothing more than a villainous attempt at political correctness. The author's apologia will leave readers asking, "Indeed, why did Henry Tudor never charge King Richard III with the murders?" By the book's end, readers will also hate the Woodvilles and Stanleys, which is what these noble families deserve.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading this book years ago and I was completely captivated by it. For once, I got to 'see' Richard III's side and his accounts of his life and love for his older brother and his brother's children. Not the cruel portrayal that I've always heard about. I donated this book to the library before I moved out of state but I do believe that I will get this book again because it was so good and so enjoyable. If Sharon's other books are as good and enjoyable as this one is, I'm really looking forward to reading them too. I really love stories like these.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must have read close to 100 books to research my own historical novels, but THE SUNNE IN SPLENDOUR was the most beautifully written. I was especially touched by the emotional scenes between Richard and Anne and never saw them portrayed so lovingly. A true masterpiece I recommend to any Richard III sympathizer or lover of Plantagenet history.
Furgus11 More than 1 year ago
I put off reading this book because it was about the Wars of the Roses and I thought learning about it would be quite daunting.  I  knew absolutely nothing about this period.  I quickly became engrossed.  My husband is a history major and reads only non-fiction.  After  reading this book, my grasp of the Wars of the Roses far surpassed his.  Reading this book felt like being in the presence of Richard III  and Edward IV and watching history unfold.  Sharon Kay Penman is my favorite author and this book is my favorite book.  I can not  recommend it highly enough.  I have read it several times and I think I enjoy it more each time.  I plan to read it again.  
CMKmom More than 1 year ago
A really good read. Enjoyed it a lot. While I was reading this book the body of King Richard III was found, and it brought to life the story of this king. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will enjoy this book.
GeoJam More than 1 year ago
This story was engaging and intense, Sharon Kay Penman follows history and weaves it into a story you want to read, know, and tell everyone about. You come away feeling as if you walked through time onto the battlefields and into the heart of the castles and people of the time. History is often one dimensional, a ruler is good or bad, but Ms. Penman reminds us that nothing is as uncomplicated as that, each step a monarch makes has a multitude of consequences and someone will always loose due to them. Does that make the king unredeemable? She lets you decide and makes it entertaining while you are at it.
Kab30 More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written, beautifully portrayed. This novels is an awesome perspective on King Richard and one I choose to hold above others I've read about him. In comparing other novels by different authors, I find S.K. Penmans arguments and opinions much more compelling and believeable than all the others. Because of this novel, I am now a fan of King Richards reign.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really felt for the guy. Long story but it needed to be. I have an entirely new view on Richard. History Fiction buffs will enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most of us have a preconceived opinion of Richard III. Be it of a good man, victim of the circumstances, or of an evil being who wouldn't hesitate to murder his own flesh and blood to usurp a throne that didn't belong to him. But the truth is that Richard was a man of his time, one who, to his misfortune, lacked the 'sun' personality, character and appearance of his brother Edward. Is this a crime? To Richard it was. But this book is not only about Richard, the last of the Plantagenet kings. It is also about Edward IV, George of Clarence, the Earl of Warwick, Anne Neville . . . It is about a fascinating time in history. I read this book a long time ago (I have read everything Ms. Penman has written) and enjoyed it so much that I would like every reader out there to share in my experience. Don't miss this book, it is the best of the historic fiction genre.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just finished reading this book for the third time and find it impossible to put it down. Mrs. Penman brings each person alive and full of passion. I've always had a soft spot for Richard III, finding it difficult to believe that a man could do a lot of good for the first 31 years of his life and then turn into a monster the last 2 years. My first Penman book was Falls The Shadow and before I had that finished I was out looking for al of her books that I could find and each of these have been read 3 times. I've just ordered her last 2 books. I highly recommend her books to any one that loves history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Throughout history Richard III has usually been presented as a deformed, egotistical and murderous king. This book tells his story in an entirely different perspective. This is an enjoyable read. You are given enough historical background to understand all the different characters and an understanding of the War of The Roses without reading like a dry history lesson. You need to understand Richard's family and how they came to the throne for the story to make sense. This author gives you just enough information without ever letting it get in the way of the story. This is an exciting adventure, a beautifully written love story and a portrait of human nature. This is a view of Richard III that is entirely believable yet rarely considered. Even if historical novels are not your preference, give this book a try. There is a very good chance you'll love it as much as I do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story was amazing! It really gets inside of Richard III head and how he transforms from a boy to a man to a duke to a king. It shows how much he has so much loyalty to his friends which is his best quality but also his downfall. The author really shows a different side to Richard and how the people are by his side and how most of them betray him for his own ambition.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel is a wonderful. Penman once again breathes life into powerful historical figures while maintaining impressive historical accuracy. Even after several times of reading it, the novel has a strong impact. The characters are well-written. The politics are intriguing. It covers a significant, well-known time period while keeping readers interested.