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Richard III

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Did you see that archaeologists may have found the bones of Richard III today? The church he was buried in was destroyed in the 1530s; a victim of the dissolution of the monasteries. More recently, that site has been a Leicester city car park. It seems a sad place for such a figure, good king or otherwise, to be forgotten, and so I am delighted that they might have found him.Only DNA matching from his descendants will prove it for definite, but signs on these remains, such as curvature of the spine and a violent death, all tally with what we know of Richard III.

Richard was the last king of the House of York, which is near where I was born, so maybe it is in my bones to be supportive of a proper burial! I have been to his castle at Middleham many times. It is a very special place and I think it says a lot about the man that this was his favourite castle. It is now just ruins, but it must have been grand, wild, secure and forbidding in its day. I actually find it a very peaceful place so I hope that is what he found there and why he liked it, because he lived and died in great trauma.

It is  because of this discovery that I have decided to read Richard III as the September installment of my Shakespeare Challenge – if you remember I had challenged myself to read one Shakespeare play (that I have not read before) a month until I have completed them all. The particularly big hole in my knowledge is the history plays, as my studies were dominated by the tragedies, so I will start there.  I will report back shortly on my impressions and thoughts, for what they are worth! In the meantime, if you are interested, the Richard III Society website is an excellent resource for more information on Richard III.

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