Sharon Kay Penman

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Sharon Kay Penman (born 1945) is an American author of fiction, born in New York, but her ancestors were Anglo-Irish. For her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and she also earned a law degree from Rutgers School of Law. Her novels and mysteries about English and Welsh royalty during the Middle Ages have proved very popular.

Penman's twist on history is to take a minor figure who really existed, but of whom nothing is known beyond their name, and make them the central character in the story, observing major historical events from a distance. Her research is thorough, and most of the events she describes have a basis in historical sources. The Sunne in Splendour, about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society's list of the 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 two mysteries set in Henry's reign. These did not enjoy the same success with her loyal readership as her "straight" historical novels, to which she returned with Time and Chance.

In UK editions of her books, Penman has now dropped the middle name "Kay" and the initial which she originally used.

Books

  • The Sunne in Splendour (1982) (novel about Richard III)
  • Here Be Dragons (1985) (first part of trilogy on 13th century Wales and England)
  • Falls the Shadow (1988) (second part of trilogy on 13th century Wales and England)
  • The Reckoning (1991) (third part of trilogy on 13th century Wales and England)
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept (1995) (novel about The Anarchy)
  • The Queen's Man (1996) (mystery)
  • Cruel as the Grave (1998)(mystery)
  • Time and Chance (2002)

External link

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