I’ve become interested in the War of the Roses, or the Cousins’ War, whatever you wish to call it. I can trace the interest back to the announcement of the discovery of King Richard III’s remains in Leicester. I have read Philippa Gregory (Author)‘s version of these events and, while I find them fascinating, I felt they were a little lacking in the historical department. In my search for more accurate depictions of these very intriguing, confusing events, I came across Sharon Kay Penman‘s name. When I discovered The Sunne in Splendour, I jumped at the chance to read it, because I had heard such wonderful praise of both the author and the book. I can say without a doubt that this was a wonderful retelling of the War of the Roses. She was able to bring to life a very controversial man. Richard was not a man that history spoke kindly of, but Ms. Penman was able to bring a great deal of warmth and sympathy to the character. It is unfortunate that so much of this man’s life remains shrouded in mystery and controversy (thanks in large part to the Tudors and those who did half-hearted histories of the time and couldn’t be bothered with doing any more substantial digging than what the Tudors put out) but Ms. Penman was able to breathe life into the characters. Although I knew the ending and was on some level prepared for it, I was still shocked and felt the loss when Richard was killed at Bosworth field. I hope that, one day, his name can be cleared in the disappearence of his nephews, although I will not hold my breath. With the discovery of his remains in Leicester, I do hope that he will be able to rest in peace and more people will be inspired to look into his history and clear up the misconceptions that we have.
All in all, this book, though pretty large, is still a total recommend on my part.