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To think that just because they have found the bones of Richard III, that doesn't automatically mean that he was actually A Really Bloody Nice Bloke?

(239 Posts)
BalloonSlayer Tue 05-Feb-13 08:31:00

Constant quotes from the Richard III Society:

"We're going to completely reassess Richard III, we're going to completely look at all the sources again, and hopefully there's going to be a new beginning for Richard as well." Why? It's a skeleton? Was it holding a signed confession from Henry VII of the murder of the Princes in the Tower?

Richard III Society member Philippa Langley, originator of the search, said on a Channel 4 documentary earlier: "It doesn't look like the face of a tyrant. I'm sorry but it doesn't. WTF?

Why does this change anything at all?

manicbmc Tue 05-Feb-13 08:35:57

Yes, but she is a knob.

Did you hear the Richardians going on so vehemently that he was misunderstood and all sorts? Mad as a box of frogs.

We will never actually know the truth because history is written by the victors.

WelshMaenad Tue 05-Feb-13 08:41:44

What does the skull of a tyrant look like, then?

ledkr Tue 05-Feb-13 08:43:18

I've got bones and I'm orrible

Poledra Tue 05-Feb-13 08:46:28

'Er from the Richard III Society spoiled the documentary for me last night. 'It's not the face of a tyrant'. No, because it's a fucking waxwork! A very good one, and I was interested to see how the forensic folks had biult the case and reconstructed the case but it's still a fucking waxwork! <and breathe>

Clytaemnestra Tue 05-Feb-13 08:46:38

It has a moustache WelshManead, preferably a twirly one.

Poledra Tue 05-Feb-13 08:47:05

built the case and reconstructed the face I mean. Rage makes my typing go funny...

HecateWhoopass Tue 05-Feb-13 08:47:13

There's a proper face of a tyrant?


Let's round up anyone with such a face and lock em up. Save a lot of time.

bloody daft 'apeth

If you're found in a car park under the remains of an old shithouse, that tells people something new about your character?

Although it amuses me that people were crapping on him for many years. grin

EllieArroway Tue 05-Feb-13 08:47:28

I agree. It's strange. How does having a better idea of him physically tell us anything about his behaviour?

I reckon - without any evidence, I know - that he was ultimately responsible for the deaths of his nephews. So, I'm not inclined to think he's that nice wink

Oh - and how realistic are these head reconstructions? Doesn't there have to be a lot of assumptions about muscle & fat etc?

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 05-Feb-13 08:47:29

I get that the 'not the face of a tyrant' thing is nuts, but I do think finding the bones sort of humanizes him and might make people think about him a little differently? Because there's a real skull there that's been bashed about. I don't think it makes us know any more about what sort of king he was, but still.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 05-Feb-13 08:48:33

ellie - no, muscle attachments make grooves in the bones, so you can tell how much of it there was. And with fat you can look at how well-nourished someone was like.

EllieArroway Tue 05-Feb-13 08:50:21

Ted Bundy had rather a nice face - and a less pleasant person it's hard to imagine. So her comment about it not being the face of a tyrant was a bit ridiculous. As is her desperation to have him turn out to be a "nice guy". Why does she care?

tiggytape Tue 05-Feb-13 08:50:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllieArroway Tue 05-Feb-13 08:57:30

Having had a quick Google, LRD I don't think it's that simple. Tissue thickness can only be guessed at, apparently and that makes a huge difference to face shape. Plus things like nose, ears, eyes and lips require some artistic licence, evidently. So it's hard to to know how good they actually are. But maybe we're expecting too much and a close approximation should be enough.

I wish they'd dig up Anne Boleyn and do one on her. I'd love to know what she actually looked like. I know they won't for obvious reasons, but I'd be fascinated.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 05-Feb-13 08:59:19

Oh, I'm sure it's not simple! Facial reconstructions aren't very accurate. I'm just saying, no, they don't guess, there are some things that help them to work it out.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Feb-13 09:05:29

YANBU. Kings of that era were pretty ruthless almost by definition. The Tudors being a deal more ruthless, of course. Ever seen portraits of Henry VII? I've just finished reading 'The Daughter of Time' by Josephine Tey which is an excellent book that methodically goes through some of the facts and fictions that grew up about Richard III after his death. Not least that he had no good reason to kill his nephews.... whereas cuddly old Henry Tudor had far greater motivation. smile

I hope they lay him to rest in York where, after the battle of Bosworth, the people of the town wrote "This day was our good King Richard piteously slain and murdered; to the great heaviness of this city". As a character in the book points out 'Hardly the obituary of a hated usurper'

SirBoobAlot Tue 05-Feb-13 09:06:44

She was far too emotionally invested in the whole thing, she was incapable of being objective. Did you see her face when they confirmed scoliosis? It was infuriating as someone who studied archaeology to watch her drape a standard over a cardboard box because of a letter R in the car park. Was waiting for the osteologist to whack her one, actually.

We'll never know whether RIII did murder the princes in the tower, though will be interesting to see if they now run DNA comparison to the bodies that were found there.

Possible he did, possible they died as childhood illness was the biggest killer then even amongst the rich, possible HVII had them murdered in an attempt to blacken RIII's name as much as he could, as early as he could.

Fascinating either way.

Catholic or Protestant funeral? grin

Scheherezade Tue 05-Feb-13 09:13:23

Those were the bones of an English king. They deserved the standard and respect.

I feel quite sorry for her, but think ultimately she got the last laugh. I bet people have been fobbing her off as a crank and nutter. Hence why the only funding for the dig came from the society. But she was right, wasn't she. Nobody believed her, they mocked her, and she was right. And they're still mocking her, but so what, she was right.

Scheherezade Tue 05-Feb-13 09:14:18

ellie it matters because it gives an insight into how accurate the Tudor propaganda was.

BalloonSlayer Tue 05-Feb-13 09:14:48

Well actually the facial reconstruction makes him look very like Lord Farquaad from Shrek.

And HE was a tyrant.

So ner to you Woo Lady

MaryMotherOfCheeses Tue 05-Feb-13 09:18:13

Her comment about the wax face was purely an emotional response, very clearly so. It doesnt mean that real historical analysis will be based on that.

The bones are interesting because they prove the scoliosis. Richardians have been saying that wasnt true, so yes they now have to re-evaluate. If that rumour is proven, it challenges their thinking on other rumours.

Scheherezade Tue 05-Feb-13 09:18:56


Of course she was emotionally invested, if she wasn't, there would be no dig, no find.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 05-Feb-13 09:19:00

It's interesting that, during his reign, he was regarded (by the people of York at least) as a pretty good King. It's only in the several hundred years since that such a thorough hatchet job has been done on the man ... the evil, hunch-back murderer etc etc. The Tudors got the ball rolling on the negative PR, executing his supporters on the grounds of treason, probably killing off the legitimate heirs (the princes in the tower) and Shakespeare doing a very effective Oliver Stone-style dramatisation which fitted the same story. The scorn being heaped on Langley seems to be just the continuation of the same process.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Tue 05-Feb-13 09:21:03

What scheherazade says. Langley might be a bit bonkers but she was right.

Wouldnt it be boring if she hadnt been a bit mad. Does it really harm? Quite happy to have a little eccentricity with my history.

BeckAndCall Tue 05-Feb-13 09:23:32

Whether the skeleton was RIII and whether he was a tyrant are two different arguments - they've become conflated in the one issue.

And I agree that as a king, he certainly deserved the respect of his standard as they moved his remains, I was also surprised that there wasn't a priest in attendance.

The programme last night for me was spoiled by the banal and infantile presentation by the guy with all the hair. I missed the first 15 minutes so may have missed the context but clearly some outfit got the rights to make the film from the start - perhaps the BBC thought it would come to nothing so didn't bid or something - and they were the only ones who were interestd, so we were stuck with it.

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