Kate Lawrence's Reviews > A Rose for the Crown

A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith
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's review
Jul 04, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from June 18 to July 02, 2012

This had everything I enjoy in a historical novel. A smooth writing style, a solid basis in historical fact, a compelling storyline, realistic and sympathetic characters (plus a few dastardly villains, also historical), a long length (632 pp.) to really get lost in, and no confusion arising from too many characters, too much historical detail, or too much jumping around in time. The dialogue felt authentic to the period; that is, the characters don't speak like modern people in costume. Helpful extras were the genealogical chart of the Plantagenets, a list identifying all the characters and whether they are historical (most are) or fictional, a map, a glossary of unfamiliar terms, and a bibliography. Plus an author note and interview, and discussion questions, if needed.

King Richard III has carried an unsavory reputation down through the centuries largely because of Shakespeare's play about him. We must realize, the author points out, that Shakespeare was writing to please Queen Elizabeth I, who was the granddaughter of the man who took Richard's crown. Therefore, making Richard look bad was in the Bard's political interest. An unbiased look at Richard, according to many historians, shows a very different personality: loyal to friends and family, serious, without any physical deformities, and almost certainly NOT the murderer of his nephews, the young princes in the Tower. Kate, the heroine and Richard's lover, is a fictional invention of the real lover he had who bore him historically documented children. She is vibrant, believable, and a pleasure to spend time with.

I'm delighted to discover this author and to learn she has written three other novels, also about 15th century England, her particular field of expertise.
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