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Where literature and history intersect

History is written by the victors, and it wasn’t terribly kind to Richard III. Thomas More vilified him in his history of the king’s reign, and Shakespeare immortalized the story in his famous play. Their politically expedient retellings of Richard’s life (both written to please Tudor monarchs) met with varying success – Shakespeare was honoured by Elizabeth I, where More managed to get himself beheaded by Henry VIII.

The arts seem a suspect source for history, and yet there are glimmers of truth to be had. Just as Schliemann uncovered the supposedly mythical city of Troy and demonstrated that the Iliad wasn’t entirely fantasy, archeologists have recently confirmed that the skeleton they have unearthed in a car park in Leicester really is that of the long-maligned Richard III, complete with his (in)famous hunchback in the form of advanced scoliosis.… Read the rest

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