Sharon Kay Penman

257 books | 186 friends

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Sharon Kay Penman

Goodreads Author

in New York, The United States


Member Since
July 2009


Penman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society's list of best historical novels. In 1996, following the success of When Christ and His Saints Slept (which dealt with the Anarchy and the early career of King Henry II of England), Penman ventured into the historical whodunnit with four mysteries set in the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine during the reign of Richard I. The mysteries did not enjoy the same success as her "straight" historical novels,

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Sharon Kay Penman What an interesting question. I don't think I can narrow it down to just one benefit, for there are so many. Having so much independence. Not having t…moreWhat an interesting question. I don't think I can narrow it down to just one benefit, for there are so many. Having so much independence. Not having to work in an office from 9-5 every day. Being able to travel in order to research my books. Getting to meet readers, especially since the advent of social media like Goodreads and Facebook; I'm still resisting Twitter, for a woman who writes 800 page novels is not going to communicate well in just 140 characters! As for the writing itself, when it is going well, there is no better feeling in the world. I love breathing life into historical figures and creating bygone worlds; it is also great fun to besiege castles and fight battles--very therapeutic!(less)
Sharon Kay Penman It came to me gradually, back when I was writing my novel about the Third Crusade, Lionheart. I realized that I wanted to write about the Kingdom of J…moreIt came to me gradually, back when I was writing my novel about the Third Crusade, Lionheart. I realized that I wanted to write about the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the tragic young Baldwin IV, the Leper King, and his two sisters, Sybilla and Isabella. And since I was unable to bring Saladin on center stage in Lionheart since he and Richard I never met--rather like Elizabeth Tudor and Mary, Queen of Scots--I realized that I could bring Saladin into the action in Outremer, the working title of the new book.(less)
Average rating: 4.21 · 125,505 ratings · 8,708 reviews · 32 distinct worksSimilar authors
Here Be Dragons (Welsh Prin...

4.28 avg rating — 21,856 ratings — published 1985 — 18 editions
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The Sunne in Splendour

4.38 avg rating — 20,122 ratings — published 1982 — 22 editions
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When Christ and His Saints ...

4.23 avg rating — 14,685 ratings — published 1994
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Falls the Shadow  (Welsh Pr...

4.40 avg rating — 9,106 ratings — published 1988 — 16 editions
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The Reckoning  (Welsh Princ...

4.45 avg rating — 8,379 ratings — published 1991 — 15 editions
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Time and Chance (Henry II &...

4.29 avg rating — 7,889 ratings — published 2002 — 15 editions
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Devil's Brood  (Henry II & ...

4.38 avg rating — 6,921 ratings — published 2008 — 14 editions
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The Queen's Man (Justin de ...

3.89 avg rating — 6,181 ratings — published 1996 — 17 editions
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Lionheart (Plantagenets #4)

4.10 avg rating — 6,145 ratings — published 2011 — 13 editions
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Cruel as the Grave (Justin ...

3.93 avg rating — 3,273 ratings — published 1998 — 11 editions
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More books by Sharon Kay Penman…

More on my Bernard Cornwell interview

I hope you all enjoyed my interview with Bernard Cornwell for War Lord. It is always fun, for it is easy to see where Uhtred gets his sense of humor. I hope , too, that all my readers and friends who celebrate Christmas had a peaceful holiday; mine was very nice if rather solitary thanks to Covid 19. At least we can now begin the countdown until this wretched year finally slinks away with its tail Read more of this blog post »
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Published on December 26, 2020 17:08
Here Be Dragons Falls the Shadow The Reckoning
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4.34 avg rating — 39,340 ratings

When Christ and His Saints ... Time and Chance Devil's Brood Lionheart A King's Ransom
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When Christ and His Saints ... Time and Chance Devil's Brood
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The Queen's Man Cruel as the Grave Dragon's Lair Prince of Darkness
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3.95 avg rating — 14,412 ratings

Lionheart A King's Ransom
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4.18 avg rating — 9,107 ratings

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Sharon Penman is now friends with Serena Perozzo
" Thank you, Craig. It sounds like you had a more serious break than I have. My doctor wants me to see a specialist to be on the safe side, but he think ...more "
" Thank you all so much. It was a great relief to get the surgery done, after suffering with severe daily headaches for three years. It was not diagnose ...more "
" Thanks, Gary. I hope you have a good birthday, too. I am very glad that Canada was able to get the coronavirus under control. What is happening in the ...more "
Sharon Penman made a comment on Best Webcam ever
" I'm partial to the Africa cams because I love elephants. But they are all so interesting. Who doesn't like sea otters or dolphins? They even have a fe ...more "
Sharon Penman made a comment on A free book
" That is great, Sulime. We really need some amusing reading these days. "
Sharon Penman wants to read
The Santiago Pilgrimage by Jean-Christophe Rufin
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The Twice-Hanged Man by Priscilla Royal
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I have long been a fan of Priscilla Royal’s medieval mystery series, for historical accuracy matters a lot to me and she is as obsessive-compulsive as I am about research. 😊 Her characters are men and women of their time, reflecting the beliefs and m ...more
Sharon Penman answered Lucy Neame's question: Sharon Kay Penman
Hi, Lucy. I wish I had a definite date for you, but they are still deciding that. I do know it will be coming out later than we all expected--most likely in early 2020 instead of late this year. As soon as I have more information, I will share it wit See Full Answer
What do you want to read in June 2019?

More of Sharon's books…
“I inhale hope with every breath I take.”
Sharon Kay Penman, When Christ and His Saints Slept
tags: hope

“…she remembered watching a summer sunset from this very spot. Not so long ago; just a lifetime.”
Sharon Kay Penman, When Christ and His Saints Slept

“I should like to freeze in time all those I do love...Rather like flowers pressed between the pages of a book!”
Sharon Kay Penman



Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
European Royalty: Here Be Dragons: Mar 15 - Apr 15 9 54 Mar 10, 2009 06:55PM  
European Royalty: Jun 1 - Jul 1: When Christ and His Saints Slept 15 51 Jun 18, 2009 03:10AM  
Historical Fictio...: The Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List: Chapter 1, Historical Fiction 5 3594 Aug 03, 2009 08:14PM  
The Seasonal Read...: Geography Lessons 95 400 Oct 10, 2009 07:10PM  
European Royalty: Historical Fictions Recs - 14th Century? 14 181 Nov 01, 2009 07:56AM  
Chicks On Lit: Historical Fiction 57 275 Dec 12, 2009 11:11AM  
The Next Best Boo...: Tani's Goals for 2009 24 299 Jan 01, 2010 03:05PM  
European Royalty: Favorites 19 126 Jan 13, 2010 03:39AM  
A History of Royals: New Member 47 69 Jan 15, 2010 09:57AM  
25823 A History of Royals — 833 members — last activity Feb 28, 2020 11:58AM
A place to talk about all royals from every corner of the world and from all moments in history, fiction or non-fiction; real or imaginary. Discuss ev ...more
21077 All Things Medieval — 517 members — last activity Feb 01, 2020 12:49PM
where people can talk about anything and everything Medieval from known historical figures to life and times of the period to favorite authors of the ...more
12605 Richard III — 494 members — last activity May 02, 2020 08:31AM
A group for those goodreads members and Ricardians (or not!) who would like to discuss all things Richard III. Clarification April 2017. The purpose ...more
25x33 Q&A with Sharon Kay — 56 members — last activity Oct 14, 2009 08:57AM
Hi, everyone. I have just joined Goodreads, which is a way cool website, as my nephew would say. I wanted to spread the word that Devil's Brood,the fi ...more
22454 Historical Fictionistas — 11449 members — last activity 31 minutes ago
Welcome to Historical Fictionistas! We want to experience all different kinds of HF with all different kinds of people. The more diverse, the better. ...more
13170 The Plantagenets — 379 members — last activity Jun 21, 2020 10:53AM
This is a group for those who enjoy reading nonfiction and fiction about one of England's most fascinating dynasties. Discuss the Plantagenet kings, t ...more
2196 European Royalty — 1552 members — last activity Feb 23, 2020 02:01PM
This is a group for anyone who enjoys fiction and non-fiction books about European royalty and history in general. We have a wide variety of discussio ...more
25350 THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB — 6810 members — last activity 11 hours, 34 min ago
ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!- from current fiction, thrille ...more
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Comments (showing 1-10)    post a comment »
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message 10: by Sharon

Sharon Penman Happy to have you on board, Tahsin. It is always good news to hear that another reader is hooked on medieval history!

Tahsin Thanks for adding me Sharon! Also I really really loved The Sunne in Splendour. It completely hooked me into medieval history-I'd had no idea it was so interesting! (Thanks for that too haha)

message 8: by Anita

Anita Elder Sharon,
I've wanted to see a movie version of The Sunne in Splendour for a very long time! Here's my suggestions for the cast:
Edward IV - Chris Hemsworth
Richard III - Dominic Cooper
Elizabeth Woodville - Lena Headey
Warwick - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Cecily Neville - Helen Mirren
Margaret of Anjou - Fanny Ardant

message 7: by Anita

Anita Elder Hi Sharon. We've exchanged email several times in the past. Looking forward to reading you newest book (after I finish The Sunne in Splendour for the third all-time favorite book!).

Sharon Penman Kimberly wrote: "Thank you for adding me Sharon!"

HI, Kimberly. I spend more time on Facebook because I have never figured out how to navigate Goodreads. So if you're on Facebook, too, do friend me. Sharon

Sharon Penman Brenna wrote: "Sharon, I just finished Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran. Bloody Brillant!! Thank you for the recommendation!"

I'm glad you liked it, Brenna. It grabbed me from that first amazing birth scene. Sharon

Brenna Sharon, I just finished Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran. Bloody Brillant!! Thank you for the recommendation!

message 3: by Iset (last edited Aug 13, 2011 01:03PM)

Iset Happy Birthday, Sharon! Hope you've been having a good one.

(It's Beth, by the way, I've been tinkering with my profile today.)

Sara W Thank you so much for the friend request! I absolutely LOVE your books (as does everyone else in the European Royalty group)!

Rosemary Sharon, thanks so much for contacting me. We share UT Austin as well as a love of historical fiction. Your books sound wonderful!

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