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Topic: The Sunne in Splendour - Book 2 Discussion

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Subject: The Sunne in Splendour - Book 2 Discussion
Date Posted: 3/30/2010 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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This thread is for discussion of Book 2 of the novel.

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 10:31 PM ET
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Any speculation on why George of Clarence so opposed the marriage of Anne and Richard?  Do you think it was just greed on his part for the Neville wealth?  Why didn't Ned seem to take Richard's part more if it was so obvious to everyone that he and Anne were in love?  Was it just odd family dynamics or power mongering?  I just don't what to think.



Last Edited on: 4/5/10 10:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/5/2010 11:29 PM ET
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Little brother had more natural talent and strength than big brother. SO  George did everything he could to make it hard for Richard and Ned didn't need George making trouble, so he hope that they would work something out between themselves, or that perhaps Richards regard for Anne might fade away( they were fairly young after all).  Or he (Ned)  knew that Richard would make out in the end and that Ned wouldn't be seen as favoring one over the other.  Until George did something outrageous enough that Ned had to step in.  I think they were stunned to  say the least when Anne and Richard just gave in to George on the matter of the inheritance.  Giving away a great deal of power and money.  I think that is when Ned stepped in and gave Richard the attained Neville properties.  Sending a clear message to George that he might have won the inheritance but failed to show that Ned could trust him to do what was morally right.  Poor George, he was ambitious but didn't seem to have the intelligence to succeed, he was charming but insincere.  Richard trumped him on all counts I think he resented Richard deeply.  I think it was that way from childhood.  George wanted Ned's approval so badly, something the Richard seemed to be given without needing to try. 

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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Jerelyn:  I totally agree with your thinking about George- wanting approval and success and maybe not having the smarts or the ambition (maybe drive is a better word, he seemed to have plenty of ambition) to achieve his desires.  He had to have resented Richad very much indeed as you said.

I suppose that Ned's approval mattered tremendously to Richard so he didn't push for the marriage at first.  It just seems so odd to have not fought for that when he battled for so much else (granted for his family though).  Richard and Anne seem so devoted to each other for years I just can't imagine giving in without a fight!

 

I forgot to add last night that I had started reading the Roger the Chapman mysteries by Kate Sedley a couple of months ago.  The first one Death and the Chapman deals with the time frame of the difficult romance between Richard and Anne.  When I got to that point in TSIS I had to chuckle to myself and think "no the author has it wrong here.  That's where Roger stepped in and helped out".



Last Edited on: 4/6/10 8:40 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/6/2010 12:03 PM ET
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Cheryl,  Yes "drive" is what I meant.

I believe that Richard had a sense of his destiny with Anne I think that it never occurred to him that they would not be together.  The upheaval in his life taught him patients, where George was grasping.

Date Posted: 4/6/2010 12:34 PM ET
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You know, I don't know why, but George reminds me so much of Geoffrey (brother to Richard and John) although Geoffrey seemed to have had a lot more smarts.  Ambitious, frustrated, maybe undervalued and underestimated by other family members.  Perhaps it is just because I have read so much of SKP lately regarding that I see some similarity in the two men.  Anybody else think the same?

Date Posted: 4/6/2010 3:04 PM ET
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That's an interesting comparison.  I'd have to think about it more.  The biggest difference that jumps out to me, off the bat, is that George had a real mean streak to him, that I don't recall in Geoffrey.  I wouldn't want to be on the bad side of either of them, of course, but George would scare me more than Geoffrey.  George was mean and not smart, and far more impulsive, I think.  It makes him less predictable, and makes me less able to stay the hell out of his way as best I can.  And it would especially mean that if I could manage to avail myself of the protection of Henry II or Richard I or Edward IV or Richard II (depending on what time period I was in) that protection would count for a lot more against Geoffrey than against George.  Of course, if Geoffrey DID decide to disregard that for whatever reason, I'm toast, because he would think it through a lot farther and take whatever countermeasures he needed to.  For example, I don't see Geoffrey ever pulling a stunt like George did with Anne.  BUT, if he'd decided to, he'd have been smarter about it, and Richard would never have found her.

Date Posted: 4/7/2010 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
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Sharla:  I was so thinking the same thing about Anne- if Geoffrey had taken her Richard would NEVER have found her (dead or alive).

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Agree.  And mostly likely, Geoffrey would have disguised his role so well that no one would have known he was involved in her disappearance.

I'm enjoying this book so much.  I've been going on about 5.5 hours of sleep a night this week (I generally need 6.5-7)  and usually that means I will nap on my ride in the morning.  Maybe read 10-15 pages, but then as I settle in, sleepiness sets in and I'm out.  Not this week.  It keeps me awake, glued to the story, even though I've read this book twice before.  As I suspected, I'm enjoying even more now that I know more, because I can appreciate what she's doing even better.  No one beats SKP for taking the threads of the facts and personalities and weaving them into vivid, utterly compelling tapestry. 



Last Edited on: 4/8/10 11:09 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/8/2010 11:10 AM ET
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Isn't she a wonderful author though!  The more I read mediocre stuff, even good books, the more I appreciate a really fine writer like Ms. Penman.  I can't wait for her new book to come out.

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 12:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Your so right Sharla, SKP is a master!  BTW it's the 3rd time I have read this book as well.

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Wow, I can't believe you guys are on your third time with this book!  That's fantastic!  I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I'm well into Book 2, but I see by the discussion threads that many of you are much farther into it.  I'm just at the part where George is really getting to be an ass!  How soon until that man dies?  LOL!  He certainly deserves to after all the crap he's pulled. 

BTW, forgive my ignorance, but when you are compare George to Geoffrey, you mean Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine's son, correct?

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 10:10 PM ET
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Yes, to that Geoffrey.  There are way too many Edwards and Richards and Henrys in this family!

I'm not all that far into book 2 yet, either.  I'm going on memory for things later.  I'm to just where Edward decided that mad king Henry had to die.

THIS is the way you murdered rival heirs for political necessity.  The way it was always done, where the public didn't know for sure whether it was murder, accident, or natural causes.  Plenty of precedent for it.  So even if you can buy that Richard became corrupted with power and killed his nephews, it makes no sense to have hidden their deaths.  Public KNOWLEDGE of their deaths would be the whole freakin' point.  But that's getting ahead of the story...



Last Edited on: 4/8/10 10:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/9/2010 9:35 AM ET
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"  So even if you can buy that Richard became corrupted with power and killed his nephews, it makes no sense to have hidden their deaths.  Public KNOWLEDGE of their deaths would be the whole freakin' point.  "

So true, Sharla, so true. It is this simple tenet more than all others that pushes me into the "not guilty" column. But, also as you said, we're getting ahead of the story.

I'm not reading the book along with you all, just lurking from time to time, to follow the discussion. SKP is one of my favorite authors as well & it's fun to see people discover & rediscover her.

One little anecdote: It is through George of Clarence that my husband's family connects with Britain's royal house. Sad to say that, "well, yes, we are descended from the Plantagenets," only to have to admit that it is through George.

 

Kelly



Last Edited on: 4/9/10 9:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/9/2010 11:11 AM ET
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Kelly - Wow! That is so interesting. I had no idea your husband's family were descended from royalty!  How cool is that?  And I guess even if it's through the vilified George, it's still cool.  LOL! 

I know we are getting ahead of ourselves, but I think we all know (at least vaguely) about the princes in the tower.  I know it is one of the great mysteries of history, but what is the prevailing theory as to what happened to them? Is it generally accepted that Richard had them killed?

I just finished Book 2 last night.  It got a tad "love story-ish" toward the end for my taste, but I still love the book. 

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 11:14 AM ET
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Even so, Kelly that is very cool!

 

I do have to admit that after reading this book, I have  moved Richard out of the "did in his nephews" league.  The author makes a good for someone else and I agree the point of such an action is to make it public as Ned did with Henry VI to eliminate the possibility of pretenders among other things.

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
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Wow, Kelly -- had I known you were royal, I would have at least curtsied when I met you! Sure hope that my breach of etiquette doesn't spoil our friendship.

Like Kelly, I am not re-reading the book now, though I look forward to doing so at some point. I have particularly enjoyed lurking in the background of this discussion because I just finished reading The Adventures of Alianore Audley by Wainwright (thank you, Kelly and Linda). This is a fun, entertaining, sometimes silly spoof about a sassy, spunky young "damosel" who spies for her kin, Edward IV and then Richard III. To appreciate the wit and humor, you really need to know the characters in the Wars of the Roses -- so this would be a great follow-up to The Sunne in Splendour. I 'm sure I missed some references or barbs because my knowledge of the cast of characters is somewhat rusty. This short book (200 pp) is original, well-researched, deliberately anachronistic, and refreshing. Highly recommended!

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Deb, I was looking through Sharon Penman's blog  for something she wrote about all the Edwards and Henry's in Sunne.   I came across her speaking about the Adventures of Alianore Audley,  I absolutely loved that book she quoted some of her favorite lines which are some of mine so I'll share.  I will also have to re-read this book.

From Sharon Penmans blog Jan. 09

Here the tart-tongued Alianore is speaking of her husband (whom she loves). 

     ?Roger wore his collar of golden Yorkist suns to show that he was one of the king?s knights, ludicrous piked shoes to show that he was fashionable, and a massive codpiece to show that he had a vivid imagination.?    And here she describes Elizabeth Woodville (whom she does not love) as ?Elizabeth too-sexy-for-her-hennin Woodville.?   And this is her ?take? on the third marriage of Margaret Beaufort (the mother of Henry Tudor) to Thomas Stanley.  ?She and Stanley having fallen deeply in love with each other?s money

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 1:08 PM ET
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I've almost finished book 2 now.  Anne and Richard have just married--in fact, they were still in bed when my train pulled into the station.  I'd forgotten that it had that "love story-ish" spot in it, as Shelley called it. 

I think the evidence points strongly for it being a love match between Anne and Richard, and that the take on Anne's prior marriage makes sense.  The love between them had to be very strong; not the emotion of being "in love" (emotions change) but that it had been essentially a part of their own identities, of how they thought about themselves and their futures and expectations and hopes for their lives.  If not, it couldn't have survived all that happened to both of them in the years immediately prior (as I said things and emotions change--much more so than one's internal view of himself or herself).  And if it WAS that strong, then indeed, her prior marraige was very much against her will, and that could certainly lead to difficulties in the bedroom, with lasting emotional scars.  I think Anne and their relationship was a big enough part of Richard (and Richard's and Ned's relationship, too, for that matter) that it needed to be explored. But less might have been more.

I've got nothing against love stories.  I go on romance jags periodically, and am just coming to the end of one.  I like a medieval romance that's saturated with really good history (think Gellis' Rosalynde books) almost as much as I like the "straight historical fiction".  Nevertheless, this section leans a little more "romancy" than what I expect from SKP.  The first two times I read it, I was reading a lot more romance, and hadn't found many of the great historical fiction authors that I revel in now.  Perhaps that's why I didn't really notice it then.

And while we're talking about love stories, I like the way SKP handled Edward and Elizabeth's relationship.  Skips entirely HOW they ended up married, and we see it only through Richard's eyes, at first.  SKP shows good chemistry between them, but Edward lets her influence go only so far, and she is shrewd enough to learn exactly how far she can influence him, and not push it.  Usually.  Because really, everything depended on her relationsip with Edward.  If Edward tired of her, she and all her relatives would be thrown to the wolves.



Last Edited on: 4/9/10 1:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1