Monday, February 4, 2013

It's Really Richard!

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.