Most of you know I'm a bit of a Ricardian at heart. Last week, I posted about history's bad boys over on Corsets, Cutlasses and Candlesticks. I'm smitten.
By Richard III.
So I've been following the archaeological dig at Greyfriars in Leicester with avidity. I paid more attention to the British news articles on it than the Superbowl yesterday. I almost work myself up in the middle of the night to watch the press conference live.
But this morning, I hesitated to turn on the computer and find out. I love a good mystery. I love an underdog--and poor Richard has been vilified for centuries. I knew I would never be able to avoid knowing altogether, but I kept my eyes closed for a minute or two longer than I normally would.
And it's him. The fatal wounds found on the skeleton describe a warrior who went down fighting. The scoliosis in the spine describe a man with a physical challenge, but certainly not the twisted and withered monster Shakespeare gives us. He was not a big man--the news article I read described his build as "almost feminine". But they're sure it's him. Hastily buried in a church that Henry VIII had demolished, so the location was forgotten for centuries.
Now, I'm sure I'm not the only one who hopes that they also find a way to test the bones they have in Westminster Cathedral. The ones that are claimed to be those of the Princes in the Tower--Richard's nephews, whom he is reputed to have murdered. And perhaps another mystery can be laid to rest.
Then again, maybe I don't want to know....
If you want to know more, check out this excellent article on the BBC News website.
And this is a fascinating article on archaeological facial reconstruction and an image of what Richard may really have looked like.