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Yet another tale of a Richard III's pre and postmarital mistress
on 24 October 2014
It's another Ricardian "We Speak No Treason", with a young servant in Anne Neville's Middleham household providing Richard of Gloucester with his first sexual experiences before his marriage to Anne and brooding over him for the rest of her life. The only difference is this time the girl seems better able to stand up to a conservation with nobles (which makes it definitely unplausible for the times), learns how to play chess and manages to sneak back into Richard's bed after Anne's death to breed yet another imaginary posthumous illegitimate child.
However, We Speak No Treason depicted a landscape that was at least respectful of the historical figure of Richard III as documented. Here we get a frustrating early love triangle between Anne, her servant Rose (with attitudes between the 2 girls bordering on lesbian) and a young Richard who picks the servant's "flower" in a one night stand while Anne has been hidden by George of Clarence and takes the servant back into his bed barely hours after Anne's Death (and a lot more wenches later too, according to his own words to her when they lie in bed days before Bosworth). The last straw was reading of Richard refuting God and his lifelong values, naming himself a fool for not taking the servant as steady mistress alongside Anne right from the start and ultimately regretting a lifelong set of moral values and piety.
There's a whole bunch of female authors lately who seem to relieve their ancestral frustrations by projecting their obscene fantasies over this already overmaligned king. They must think that turning the shakesperean scheming monster into a sex machine will help reassessing his reputation. I think this only makes for poor chick lit with a few famous names and very little history sticked to it. If you like the kind, enjoy, but if you are looking for a more poignant, complete and historically accurate fiction novel on Richard III that is also a terrific romance, you definitely have to look somewhere else and my top of the list recommendations still are The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman and Rhoda Edwards' Fortune's Wheel and Some Touch of Pity/The Broken Sword.