The Rose of York: Love & War
Embarking upon a noble literary endeavor, Sandra Worth gives us the life of Richard of Gloucester – that’s Crookback Richard III the nephew-murderer to those of you who take Shakespeare for actual history, and The Last True Plantagenet King and Parfit Gentille Knyghte to us Ricardians – in an extremely well-researched trilogy. Set against the backdrop of the romantically-named Wars of the Roses, which were anything but romantic to the participants, this first novel deals with Richard’s life from childhood through his marriage to his cousin Anne Neville and the birth of their first child. Although the writing can be somewhat awkward (“Be careful, George, real careful,” says Richard at one point, and at another, Anne wears a “flowing navy mantle” – just to mention a couple of clunkers), the sheer strength of the story carries the day. This admirable historical novel belongs on the shelf of all true Ricardians next to Daughter of Time.
And I’m not saying this just because I wear my roses white and still refer to Henry VII as “that usurper”!