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A historical fiction novel by Sharon Kay Penman. The Sunne in Splendour covers 33 years, from 1459 to 1492, focusing on The War of the Roses and in particular Richard III, whom Penman depicts as a heroic character, vilified after his death by political enemies.
This book contains examples of:
- Arranged Marriage
- Big Brother Worship: Richard's relationship with his older brother Edward.
- Can't Have Sex Ever: Richard and Anne can't have sex after she gets diagnosed with tuberculosis, for fear he'll get infected too.
- The Chessmaster: King Louis of France.
- Clear My Name: Penman wrote the book partially to do this for Richard. Also, toward the end, the characters become increasingly concerned about how history will view them.
- Dead Guy, Junior: The same names get recycled over and over.
- Deadly Decadent Court
- Deus Angst Machina: The last 200 pages or so of the book. Everything that could possibly go wrong in Richard's life does so, in the most brutal way possible. Justified in that it comes straight from the historical record.
- Doomed by Canon: Those familiar with the War of the Roses will know what's coming.
- Double In-Law Marriage: Brothers Richard and George marry sisters Anne and Isabel.
- Downer Ending
- Due to the Dead: Everyone is appalled when the bad guys behead or otherwise mistreat the bodies of those fallen in battle. The good guys accord their dead enemies a decent burial. When Richard fails to do so, with Will Hastings, it's a clear sign of a Heroic BSOD in progress.
- Dying Alone
- Evil Uncle: How young Edward views Richard. The rest of the nieces and nephews.... not so much.
- Feuding Families: York and Lancaster
- God Save Us From the Queen: The way most of the main characters react to Elizabeth Woodville Grey.
- Heartwarming Orphan: George's poor son Edward.
- Honorary Uncle: Jack Howard, to Bess.
- Incest Is Relative: Provided there's a papal dispensation.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Anne
- Kill'Em All: Well, mostly. Elizabeth Woodville, Bess, Francis Lovell and a few other characters make it.
- Kingmaker: Warwick was the original kingmaker. Also seen later on with Buckingham, who does this for Richard, and then the Stanleys and Northumberland, who do it for Henry Tudor.
- Knight Templar Parent: Marguerite d'Anjou to a T.
- Love Ruins the Realm: Edward IV might have thought through his romantic choices a bit better.
- Marry for Love: Surprisingly.
- Moral Event Horizon: Clifford's murder of Edmund. He's a prisoner, unarmed, tied up, and wounded, and just 17 to boot.
- Off with His Head
- Parental Marriage Veto: Edward exercises this with his brothers, with varying success.
- Royal Brat: Edouard shows signs of this.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections: George's attitude toward life.
- Screw the War, We're Partying: Happens in France, much to Richard's chagrin.
- Secret Relationship: Hoo boy.
- Sole Survivor: Rob Apsall, after Sandal Castle, and Francis, after the foiled attack on Henry Tudor.
- Storming the Castle
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Richard and Anne
- Villain's Dying Grace
Edward: I'd not stain my hands with a woman's blood.
Marguerite: Even if it were a mercy?
Edward: Especially if it were a mercy, Madame.
- War Is Hell
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Joan. We never even find out if she survived the sacking of Ludlow.
- The Woobie: Just about every child character in the book.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Women never get executed for treason, no matter how serious their crimes.