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Topic: A Rose for the Crown Ch 19- End

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Subject: A Rose for the Crown Ch 19- End
Date Posted: 12/30/2008 8:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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Ok so we knew eventually he was going to have to leave her and go marry someone else eventually but that doesn't mean I had to like it when it happened in this story.  I was kind of hoping he would say to hell with it and stay with her because royals have been known to do that before but there goes that damn loyalty thing getting in the way again.

I can't say I blame Kate for wanting to keep Dickon a secret from Richard.  I can't imagine sending my child to live elsewhere without even knowing when I would see him again.  If I were in Kate's shoes I would be even more reluctant to put my kids in the care of another woman just because there might be the off chance that she would be another Elinor and make my kids lives a living hell.

Does anyone else think King Edward was an idiot for forgiving Warwick and Clarence so many times after they repeatedly betrayed him. I felt very bad for Richard in the end half of the book because so many bad things happened to him (including his death).  I always kept the hope alive that he and Kate would be together again (especially after Anne was gone) but it didn't happen.  I admit I did not know much about this time period at all so it was interesting to read.

Overall I liked this story but I thought the story could have been told just as well and been shorter.  I think I will be trying another book by this author in the future:) 



Last Edited on: 1/5/09 11:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 11:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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MORE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER.....

1.  Why does Kate insist on telling Richard in person that Katherine has died?  When she breaks the news to him he says "I have nothing to live for, Kate.  I have lost my wife, my son, my brothers, my nephews, and now my beautiful daughter.  I swear to Almighty God I do not care if I live or die....I wish Richmond would come through that door this very moment and put me out of my misery!"  Did Kate do the right thing by telling Richard about their daughters death right before battle?

2. Both Margaret and Kate's cousin Anne disagree w/her decision to send Dickon to Bywood farm to be raised as her brother's child.  When Kate tells Richard, however, he commends her for caring about their child so much that she would do such a selfless thing.  How do you explain these different reactions?  Did Kate make the right decision, particularly in light of what transpires later in the story?  What compels Kate to finally reveal the truth to Dickon?

3.  The prologue contains many significant details about Kate and her to sons, one of whom dies tragically in the opening pages.  Did having this info up front influence your reading of the story?  Why you suppose AES chose to reveal these facts in the prologue?

4. A Rose for the Crown is a bittersweet story, and the characters experience moments of both great happiness and intense sorrow.  What is your overall impression of the book?  How does it compare to other HF you've read?  Did you come away with an understanding of what it was like duirng, as Smith says in her Author's note "one of English history's most complex periods"?

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 1:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I knew the history, but I was still heartbroken at how bleak Richard was at the end - he'd lost everyone and everything,and I totally understood why Kate had to tell him about Katherine, but it just fed into the same thing.

I also think that the loyalty thread that wove through the entire book was Edward IV and Richard's undoing.

Date Posted: 1/17/2009 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2008
Posts: 437
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I finished this up in the airport yesterday (I was there half the day - what a mess everything was with the cold weather up the Northeast!!).  Mimi and Holly - I felt the same as you did.  Even though I knew the inevitable ending, it still made me very sad to read it!  I also had hoped that after Anne died, Richard could be with Kate again.  I think she did the right thing going to him to tell him about Katherine; he had to know and it was right for him to hear it from her. 

I still am a bit annoyed right up to the end with how "perfect" Kate always was.  Of course, SHE knew as soon as she saw Henry Stafford that there was something about him she did not like.  And she was always so gracious with Anne, and with giving up her children.  Her selflessness annoyed me!!  Overall, though, I did enjoy the book.

Date Posted: 1/21/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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I just finished the book and I agree with Holly that it could have been much shorter.  I felt bad for Richard, he seemed so sad and depressed.  One thing did bother me though about this last section.  It seemed the author "glossed over" a lot of the known facts about  what actually happened.  Such as the bodies discovered in the Tower- haven't they been pretty well proved to have been the two missing princes?  And Buckingham's falling out with Richard seemed a little too conveniently explained away in the story.  I am not an expert in this area of British history and I believe this author is pro-Richard III.  I guess I just expected a stonger case to be made; this one seemed kind of weak given the facts I do know. 



Last Edited on: 1/21/09 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/22/2009 4:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,891
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I think I remember reading somewhere that she was a member of the Richard III Society so, definitely pro-Richard III.  The book definitely got me interested in reading about this time.  I have Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower on my TBR pile so when I finally get around to that at least I'll know what really happened.  Does anyone know if the murders truly were pinned on Buckingham?

Date Posted: 1/22/2009 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Well, Alison Weir's book draws a definitive conclusion, but it is controversial.  I don't believe anyone truly knows what happened.

I also read in the author's notes that Smith was a member of the Richard III Society, so she's going to be sympathetic.  I probably could be persuaded that he was not at fault, but it is truly one of the things I want to find out in the fullness of time.

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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Ok so we knew eventually he was going to have to leave her and go marry someone else eventually but that doesn't mean I had to like it when it happened in this story.  I was kind of hoping he would say to hell with it and stay with her because royals have been known to do that before but there goes that damn loyalty thing getting in the way again.

Smith couldn't have had Richard and Kate marry without completely changing history (which records he did, indeed, marry Anne Neville). I don't like it when historical-fiction writers change history. I like them to work within the "gray areas" where no one can ever be sure exactly what happened.  But Smith could have had Richard continue his relationship with Kate while married to Anne. I'm not sure why she chose not to do that, actually. If she had, Kate could have been with him after Edward IV's death, when all the intrigues began, and could have given us an up-close-and-personal account. It seems to me like Scott is rushing through the juciest parts of the story now that Richard and Kate are no longer together.

I don't buy that Richard's conscience was flexible enough to allow him to sleep with a married woman, and to continue fornicating with her after her husband's death, but not flexible enough to allow him to cheat on his own wife. It doesn't make much sense to me.

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 2:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I finally finished the last 150 pages of A Rose for the Crown this weekend. Did anyone else feel their head was spinning with all the major historical events Smith crammed into the final 100 pages? If I hadn't known a bit of the history to begin with, I would have been lost.

Overall, I did enjoy the novel but felt it had some flaws. I posted a review on my blog if anyone wants to read it: http://scalingmounttbr.blogspot.com/2009/01/rose-for-crown-by-anne-easter-smith.html

Date Posted: 1/27/2009 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,456
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Yes, I felt the same way, which is why I guess I felt her case for Richard being sort of "weak".  The author spent so much time on Kate, the Howards, Kate's family that there seemed very little about the important historical events that were the drivers for the story.

Date Posted: 1/30/2009 6:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I have finally finished! I completely agree that the last 100 pages or so were rushed, but I also thought the first few chapters felt rushed. Maybe the novel was just a bit too clunky? Well, even so, I still feel she did rather well for a first novel, but maybe she should have chosen a less momentous time to write about for her first foray into H/F. It felt to me like the story was almost more about Kate than R3 and that is okay for the book, just not what I was hoping for, I guess. Then again, I kind of think that I read every book about R3  with SKP's "Sun in Splendour" in mind and not many books can hold up to that comparison.

Like Michelle,  I was also annoyed with Kate quite a bit. The stupid "fiddle-faddle" thing bugged me, but her absolute perfection in just about everything she did bothered me even more.

I wonder why authors think the heroine has to be perfect? They throw in these tiny imperfections to add in some sort of flaw, but it doesn't really work.  No one is that perfect and selfless. It seems like some writers think the main characters have to be completely perfect or completely horrid; very few can find a happy medium, someone realistic and human.

This page about the princes is one I found interesting because it goes into detail about the architecture of the tower. It doesn't prove anything, but it's interesting to read.  - http://home.cogeco.ca/~richardiii/bunkum.html