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We Speak No Treason (We Speak No Treason)

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  172 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Richard of Gloucester, brother of Edward IV and the unfortunate Clarence, is no physical grotesque as Shakespeare or the Tudors would have him. Among the characters in this historical novel who witness a lean Richard in the buff is a gently reared lass attached to the Woodville household; she bears him a daughter and loves him her life long. Her narratives carry the bulk o ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published March 15th 1971 by HarperCollins Distribution Services (first published January 1st 1971)
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Ikonopeiston
Jan 22, 2009 Ikonopeiston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ricardians, lovers of beautiful prose
Shelves: ricardian
I read the second half of this book some time ago, being unable at that time to locate the first half (the book had been divided into two volumes.) Then I learned the joy of used book vendors and have in my possession the single book edition, like new, for less than the price when it was freshly published.

I have finished the whole of this book and am moved by the beauty of the writing and the psychological underpinning of the narration.

Of the four Books and the three speakers, I treasured the s
...more
Lisl
Feb 25, 2013 Lisl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because I sometimes have a tendency to borrow too many books from the library, it happens on occasion that I tire of keeping up with conflicting due dates and end up tossing the lot into a bag to haul them back, unread. Such was nearly the case with an older, non-slipcovered edition of Rosemary Hawley Jarman’s We Speak No Treason, a novel I’d ordered on recommendation, but didn’t remember as I was deciding my returns. I made to rid myself of this unknown book, thinking it a pity I was unaware of ...more
Elaine
Aug 19, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A defence of Richard III.

Interesting Facts from the book:
The order, given by Richard IIII, to have fine garments made for Edward IV's two little sons is still extant. This was given long after the rumours that he had had them imprisoned and murdered in the Tower.

Richard III believed Margaret Beaufort (Henry VII's mother) to be his supporter right to the time of the Battle of Bosworth. Her husband, Lord Stanley, defected and joined the Lancaster troops at the battle.

Richard's three known children
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Karla
If you're looking for a novel about Richard III, then prepare to be underwhelmed. Richard isn't a major player here - he is the sun around which everything else turns, but this book isn't about him, but the various satellites in his orbit. It's still a good novel of the historical genre, although the prose is a bit fanciful and intricate, typical of an author trying to "duplicate" the tone of another time period. It gets a bit wearying after awhile, and very self-conscious.

The dust jacket says t
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Elisabeth
I want to begin this review by stating that, although I am not a "card carrying" member of the Richard III society, I am deeply affected by the history of this time. I love Richard III novels, and non-fiction. The tragedy of this time is unmistakable. Richard was such a GOOD and loyal person, until his brother Edward IV died. I do believe that he is the most likely suspect in the disappearance of his nephews. The murder (because I believe that is what it was)of William Hastings shows he had eno ...more
S.A.
Sep 01, 2012 S.A. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author obviously performed skilled research to create this story. Granted I am not a Richard the 111 historian, but everything seemed true and factual.

I had a few quibbles. One is why not give the characters names? That's right, neither the maiden/nun or the gentleman ever have names. This is odd because somewhere in the narrative another character would say the person's name, not call her or him "lady", "fellow", "friend" and on and on.

Patch the food is granted a name. He's special.

Another
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Monica
Feb 29, 2008 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: European Royalty group
I was interested and suprised to read a book that presents Richard III in a positive light. I became invested in the characters, specifically the main character, Richard's first lover, and the lush language used to evoke the events surrounding the War of the Roses. I recommend it to any who enjoy a good historical fiction.

Incidentally, the title is an excerpt from Shakespeare's The Life and Death of King Richard III (i.i.): "we speak no treason man; we say the king is wise and virtuous...". Beca
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Jane
Jun 24, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deeply affecting tale that is well-written and very powerful. Though not focusing on Richard directly, the book reveals his character through the lives and voices of others. Though its language is not always easy to read, the stories have an ability to stay with the reader for a very long time.
Tess
This is the story of King Richard III told in three voices: his young lover, the court fool, and one of his men of arms. Each story-teller brings a unique and haunting perspective to the events that ultimately left us with the prototypical villain of Shakespearean fame. This book works as an exoneration of that same man, casting him as a misunderstood and double-crossed figure of tragedy.

The prose are beautiful and dream-like, and indeed you feel as though you are reliving the history through so
...more
Charis
May 09, 2015 Charis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The narrative, written poetically and almost lyrically, held my attention for the first half of the story as the perspectives of Richard III's life changed. However, after the Fool's chapter, I found myself skimming past the poetry, songs and flowery words just to find the actual story. A chapter of 20 pages may only hold 10 pages of actual storyline and plot, the rest reflective or descriptive. It is certainly Richard III-friendly and a fascinating new way to explore his character and the event ...more
Myrto
Oct 12, 2013 Myrto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my introduction into Ricardian literature. I liked it a lot and I loved Jarman's over-the-top take on Richard. I think if you are going to paint him as a hero you might as well go all the way. He has superhuman strength, he is an awesome lover (at 17) and he inspires mad lifelong passion in the character of the Nun. No sarcasm, loved the bold strokes of this book and the crazy OTT language. Was rooting for the nun too. A fun, although a bit depressing read.
Laura
Sep 09, 2013 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is split into two parts whereby the first is from the perspective of a lady in waiting and the second from the perspective of a fool/jester called Patch. I am very keen on stories relating to Richard III and there was more of him in the first part so I preferred that part.
Kara
I couldn't get into this. This time period of the ever changing crown is confusing enough without the narrative jumping back and forth between the Plantagents, Yorks and Tudors timelines. Also, the narrative voice kept switching. Blergh.
Darkpool (protesting GR censorship)
Sorely tempted to give this five stars, as I remember being quite take with it when I read it. But memory can be so unreliable I thought it best to play it safe. Perhaps it's one that I should re-read before long.
Karen
Apr 21, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, well researched, engaging and moving historical fiction, firmly in Richard's camp. It's a heartfelt narration, and stayed with me long after I finished reading.
Lezley
Beautifully written! One could take a paragraph and paint a picture. Found the Nun's Tale dragged and was difficult to get through.Otherwise would have given it a 4-star rating.
Randy Briggs
Feb 12, 2013 Randy Briggs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was beautifully researched and written. The switches between times and narrators was confusing. Overall, I enjoyed it.
Sheila
Jul 11, 2011 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a great writer who draws you into the 15th century.
Peggy
Jan 16, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, my favorite novel based on Richard III.
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Rosemary Hawley Jarman is an English novelist and writer of short stories. She was born in Worcester April 27, 1935. She was educated first at Saint Mary's Convent and then at The Alice Ottley School, leaving at eighteen to study singing in London for the next three years, having developed a fine soprano voice.

Family circumstances prevented her from continuing in this direction and she worked for
...more
More about Rosemary Hawley Jarman...

Other Books in the Series

We Speak No Treason (2 books)
  • The Flowering of the Rose (We Speak No Treason, #1)
  • White Rose Turned to Blood (We Speak No Treason, #2)

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