Literature: The Sunne in Splendour
A historical fiction novel by Sharon Kay Penman. The Sunne in Splendour
covers 33 years, from 1459 to 1492, focusing on the Wars 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.
- Born Lucky: Edward... well, at least it's invoked plenty of times.
- Cain and Abel: George and Edward (Isabel even lampshades this); subverted in that Edward isn't exactly a good guy himself. Later George and Richard, too.
- 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.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Harry of Lancaster, of course. Edward and Richard think George is becoming this, as well.
- Coitus Interruptus: Richard and Anne's intimate moment was cut short when Buckingham walked in on them, to deliver an urgent message.
- Conflicting Loyalty: The most obvious example of this would be poor Johnny Neville, who died fighting against York... and yet secretly wearing its colors.
- Cool Uncle: Richard, to all his brothers' children except young Edward, but especially Bess.
- Creator Breakdown: Penman's first copy of the manuscript was stolen, making her so depressed that she didn't write a word for five years. Finally she rewrote the whole thing from scratch.
- Cruel Mercy: Edward IV lets Marguerite d'Anjou live after the Battle of Tewkesbury, knowing that she'd rather be dead than see the ruin of all her hopes.
- Dead Guy Junior: The same names get recycled over and over.
- Deadly Decadent Court
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: In spades.
- 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.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Anne. Major tearjerking scene.
- 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
- Enemy Mine: Marguerite and Warwick are probably the most clashing example.
- 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 and Margurite of Anjou.
- Green Eyes: Elizabeth Woodville and George.
- 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.
- King Maker: 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.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: Anne suffered one miscarriage after another after giving birth to Edward. Edward died at age 10.
- Love Ruins the Realm: Edward IV might have thought through his romantic choices a bit better.
- Marital Rape License: Poor Anne.
- Marry for Love: Surprisingly.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Warwick really didn't like the whole "let's promote all the Woodvilles" thing.
- Morality Kitchen Sink
- Never My Fault: George.
- Nice, Mean and In-between: Richard, George and Edward, respectively.
- Off with His Head!
- Parental Marriage Veto: Edward exercises this with his brothers, with varying success.
- Royal Brat: Edouard shows signs of this.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Sensitive, wise-beyond-his-years Edmund, Earl of Rutland, is murdered (Red Wedding Style) early in the story when he is only seventeen.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: George's attitude toward life.
- Screw the War, We're Partying!: Happens in France, much to Richard's dismay.
- 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
- Welcome Back, Traitor: Although that never ends well for the traitor.
- We Used to Be Friends: Edward and Warwick.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Joan. We never even find out if she survived the sacking of Ludlow.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Women never get executed for treason, no matter how serious their crimes.
- Your Cheating Heart: Played straight with Edward IV. Slightly subverted with Richard, who sired two bastards before married Anne.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Anne.
- Edmund had shades of this, too.