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We Speak No Treason: The Flowering of the Rose by [Jarman, Rosemary Hawley]
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We Speak No Treason: The Flowering of the Rose Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

PRAISE FOR WE SPEAK NO TREASON: 'Ablaze with colour, smell and sound, for lovers of the historical novel, this is a feast' VOGUE; 'A rattling good tale' ANTONIA FRASER; 'The portrait of Richard III is utterly credible... a superb novel, the product of a rare talent' THE SUNDAY EXPRESS; 'The flow of the narrative, the richness of the scene are superb' THE SUNDAY MIRROR; 'Superb... I could not put it down' THE SUNDAY MIRROR; 'Miss Jarman manages to convey the lush, devious bawdy ambience of her chosen century' TIME; 'Brilliant... A broad, rich tapestey of medieval life' THE SUNDAY EXPRESS; 'An outstanding first. What mostly emerges is an unusual sense of the historical detail: the folds in the dress, the smell of bodies crammed in low and smoky rooms, the light in a diamond on a hand travelling across a yellow parchment' THE GUARDIAN; 'A most impressive novel. The historical background is very good indeed, every major source has been used to add to the verisimilitude to the tale' TLS.

About the Author

Best selling author both in the UK and the North America, Rosemary Hawley Jarman was born in Worcester. She lived most of her time in Worcestershire at Callow End, between Worcester and Upton on Severn. She began to write for pleasure, and followed a very real and valid obsession with the character of King Richard III. With no thought of publication she completed a novel showing the King in his true colours, away from Tudor and Shakespearian propaganda. The book was taken up almost accidentally by an agent, and within six weeks a contract for publication and four other novels was signed with HarperCollins. The first novel We Speak No Treason was awarded The Silver Quill, a prestigious Author's Club Award, and sold out its first print of 30,000 copies within seven days. We Speak No Treason was followed by The King's Grey Mare, Crown in Candlelight and The Courts of Illusion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1373 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (15 Sept. 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009YLIV7A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,371 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Certainly a well-written book, and I did enjoy it. Unlike some books dealing with this period, it's a more domestic, subtle and low-key perpective on Richard of Gloucester, future Richard III, written from the point of view of "the Nut-Brown Maid", a very young servant who falls in love with the teenage Richard, and in the second part of the book, from the point of view of a lively Fool at court. So, far away from the 'blockbuster' school of historical fiction, nor does it fit into the romance mould. Rather than show the machinations of kings, you get an insight instead into the less dramatic lives of the courtiers. It's quite a sensual book (by which I don't mean erotic), with an emphasis on the natural environment, smells and textures, and some nimble characterisation.

Unfortunately, perhaps I have read too many 'Richard III, Romantic Hero' books recently, because the love affair at the centre of this novel was a little disappointing. Richard himself does not seem particularly charismatic, quite stiffly characterised as a careworn, distant young man. To be fair, this may well be more realistic, considering his experiences and responsibilities at such a young age, than for example the passionate, twinkly-eyed lover Richard of Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour. Hawley Jarman's Richard is still a sympathetic character, serious in his loyalty, but is only seen through the eyes of others and comes off as a bit of an exaggerated brooder in his dialogue. The dialogue, though energetic, leans towards the olde-fashioned and although it runs quite smoothly, I can't help but think that there is never a place for "Great Jesu!", especially not a lovelorn scene of romance. And the romantic dialogue is a bit OTT in places:

" "We shall be caught up in the fire, my lord!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author uses several anonymous but typical characters of the day to tell the story of Richard III from his youth and onwards. We hear from the Nut Brown Maid and the Fool, who each give their own viewpoint of events of the times. It is a rather romanticised portrayal of Richard, but as I'm a Ricardian, I loved it! I found it very moving, especially the story of the nut brown maid - it makes one thankful that women these days have control of their own destinies and are not mere pawns, as they were in medieval times.
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Format: Paperback
This book was written in the 1970s and so the style of writing is very different from popular historical novels written today a la Gregory. It is much denser stylistically, with an obvious penchant for avoiding anachronisms in language. That might make it slightly hard going for readers brought up on the simplistic style of current writers, but it is well worth a read.

Jarman is unashamedly romantic and while the setting is the court of Edward IV, this is a far cry from Penman's Sunne in Splendour - or rather a different take on the story. Jarman concentrates on human (romantic) emotions rather than political intrigue and battles, making Richard a romantic and haunting figure.

Brilliant on atmosphere, the tangible feel and smell of Tudor England, I really enjoyed this book (there's a sequel which I'm eagerly about to start, always a good sign) though don't expect to tell you anything about the political history of the time (and why should it, being a piece of fiction?)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a novel on Richard III the way I was tricked into thinking it was by the product description. Around two thirds of the book are a first person tale on a 16-years-old girl servant to Jaquetta of Luxembourg, Elizabeth Woodville's mother. She follows her lady at court in 1468 and meets a 16-years-old Richard of Gloucester who is physically attracted by this nameless "Nut-Brown Maid". They share their first sexual experiences and enjoy a few months of blissful romance. She falls madly in love with the young duke, while he is certainly grateful for the solace of her physical company (the little she can offer, since the poor lass is hardly able to stand up to a decent conversation, not to mention a game at chess and apparently can only throw herself in his arms when they meet) and grows to feel a certain degree of affection for this humble girl, but never, not even in the heat of passion does he mention anything about love, for his heart lies elsewhere, namely in the memory of his childhood companion Anne Neville, as the reader comes to understand in the following chapter.

The Maid is perfectly aware that her feelings are unrequited ("my love would have to do for both of us"), but chooses to be blind to a more "normal" yet genuine love that is offered her by the King's Fool (the narrator of the second chapter) and broods in selfdelusion over a relationship that would have had no future even without her banishment from court following a complot against Jaquetta.
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