Thursday, 14 February 2013

King Richard III, Leicester

I watched the BBC documentary "The King in the Car Park" about the search for the remains of King Richard III, and was struck by how those things we consider historical myths are sometimes revealed to be a mixture of both fact and fiction. The archeological discovery of his final resting place in the site of the former Greyfriars Abbey in Leicester confirmed many things once given to pure speculation: firstly (and most obvious) was that his body wasn't exhumed and thrown into the River Soar after the Abbey was dismantled as some suggested, and that he did indeed have some form of spinal problem (although not necessarily in the way others had claimed). Also, the manner of his death which at least all accounts agree upon, that the wounds showed he died "fighting among the thickest press of his enemies".

Many people would offer the opinion that history is simply "open to interpretation", which I tend to see as a very lazy conclusion to make. Rather we should maybe take George Orwell's example and admit that there should always be the search for the kernal of truth in everything (and along with this admit that some of our previously held assumptions can be disproved).

The above photograph of Richard III's statue in Castle Park, Leicester was taken by my girlfriend. It was just after the identity of the remains were confirmed and as you can see someone had laid a white rose at the foot of the monument.

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