The White Boar by Marian Palmer
Richard III, last of the Plantagenet Kings, could condemn the author of that crude doggerel to a traitor’s death but he could not stem the inevitable tide of history. Richard’s emblem, the white boar, commanded the loyalty of able men like Lords Catesby (the Cat) and Ratliff (the Rat), and Francis Lovell (our Dog). It could not withstand the onslaught of the Tudor rose.
The White Boar is a dramatic historical novel that vividly recreates the life and times of England’s controversial King Richard III. Shakespeare portrayed him as evil incarnate, a hunchback who gained the throne by murdering his two nephews. Conversely, many historians argue that he was an innocent scapegoat and might have been one of history’s great monarchs had his reign not been so tragically short.
In this novel one issue concerning Richard’s life is never in doubt – that he held the unfaltering devotion of two extraordinary men, Phillip and Francis Lovell. And it is through their eyes that the reader of this remarkable book sees the last Plantagenet – the man and the King.
Marian Palmer presents a striking chronicle of England in the last half of the fifteenth century: the pomp and pageantry of the royal court; the treason and the intrigue which were the death of the Plantagenet dynasty; and the bitter struggle between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians that was the War of the Roses.
The author does not offer a solution to the riddle of Richard III; rather she presents him as he might have appeared in his own lifetime to the two men who were, above all else, his friends. The character which emerges is as unforgettable as Shakespeare’s misshapen monster. (Goodreads)
The story is told by the Lovell cousins Philip (pretty sure he’s fictional) and Francis. Francis is given is wardship to Warwick and goes to Middleham. There he meets Philip after long time and for the first time sees Richard, Duke of Gloucester. There’s lot more going on but I don’t even try to tell it. Wikipedia is your friend.
I did enjoy this but it was bit dry on points and some of the phraisings does show the book’s age. But I liked how the characters were described, especially Richard. He was neither too good or too bad. I loved how Anne Neville’s rescue was portrayed.
It was nice to read that Francis and his wife Anna had their happy moments. They are always portrayed hating each other and while this either didn’t end happily there was some good too.
Published: Hodder & Stoughton (1969)
Source: my own