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Desc:An examination of the skeleton that DNA confirms belongs to Shakespeare's greatest villain.
Category:Science & Technology, Military
Tags:Shakespeare, Richard III, House of York, check out that spine
Submitted:John Holmes Motherfucker
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Comment count is 9
Binro the Heretic - 2013-02-15
It's just not the same, watching this sort of thing without cartooishly gory reenactments and simulations.
chumbucket - 2013-02-15
Rage killing maybe?
John Holmes Motherfucker - 2013-02-15
This is really an amazing find, a figure who lives not only as one of Shakespeare's best bad guys, but a figure of historical controversy. Like Cleopatra, everything we know about richard comes from the propaganda arm of the people who defeated him. Did he really kill his nephews? I think I heard something about recent evidence that he had. And it looks like Shakespeare was right about the scoliosis.
Jet Bin Fever - 2013-02-16
I loved reading about this in the news. I've known about the Richard III debate for years, and I bet my old English prof is crapping his Depends over all this.
John Holmes Motherfucker - 2013-02-16
you should be aware that this YouTube Channel (University of Liecester) has has an impressive archive of videos about the search for RichardIII


John Holmes Motherfucker - 2013-02-16
To me, the wounds aren't particularly interesting. He's clearly dead, and we knew that he died in battle. But that spine is far more interesting.

I fell asleep watching a 2003 documentary on Richard:


It's fascinating to see this guy discuss "clues that Shakesperare's portrait of Richard was deeply flawed, right down to the hump back." Apparently, it was recently discovered (recently enough that in 2003, the discoverer was alive to be interviewed) that the most famous portrait of Richard had been altered to add the deformity. They have proof.

So, in 2003, the speculation (maybe not of the scientific community, but certainly of some British tv personality named Tony) was that the deformity was a fiction added by Tudor propaganda, to portray Richard as a twisted villain, consistent with medieval superstition about deformities.

Well, ten years later, and we have Richard's skeleton, the identity confirmed by DNA. And there it is: the curved spine, couldn't be clearer.

What this means is that the supposed Tudor-era propagandists who were seen to be destroying the historical record were, in fact, making a historical correction. Richard's deformity hadn't been fabricated by Tudor propagandists; it had been expunged by Plantagenet propagandists. When Richard was king, apparently, he was not to be painted as he actually was.

It's fascinating to see the suspicion immediately and naturally turn to those who altered the portrait. Again, I'm not familiar with what the historians were saying, just what Tony was saying, and at least in his reading of Shakespeare, Tony comes off as a bit of a knob, IMO. But it's an object lesson about how easy it is to misread the historical record. There's a danger in NOT taking things at face value, and in assuming that the historians of the past didn't respect the truth as much as we do.

I wonder how often this kind of lingering historical question is settled this definitively. Before DNA, I'm thinking, not too often.

dancingshadow - 2013-02-16
I would listen to her give a lecture on this topic! if you know what I mean...
il fiore bel - 2013-02-16
You'd toss her a halberd, take off your hat and go, "Let's role-play, baby"?

John Holmes Motherfucker - 2013-02-16
I would take her course, and I wouldn't audit.

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