*Originally written February 6th, 2013
Part the First: The Historical Play Recounting Richard III’s Remains
“Now is the winter of History’s discontent
Made glorious last summer by this son of York”
Stop the presses, folks! It appears that both History and the renowned writing of the Bard of Avon are in need of some serious revising.
No, the above isn’t an intentional butchering of that icon of the English language, William Shakespeare otherwise known as the Bard of Avon. It’s actually the joining of two endings to one story which provides justified completion and rightful closure to the life of a very falsely maligned king. A series of events which began during the summer of 2012 and subsequently were confirmed to completion the following winter. Events which decree that history, as we know it, needs to be completely re-written.
To be specific, English medieval history, and perhaps even more shocking, the history of William Shakespeare and his literary canon.
On February 4th, 2013 an official announcement was made stating that recently discovered bones found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England have been officially confirmed to be the remains of one of the most vilified monarchs of all time, Richard III.
What’s truly astounding about this archaeological discovery is it being the end result of joint efforts made by two very different, one could say almost juxtaposing, forces: cutting-edge computer technology and powerfully honed human intuition, better non-tangibly known as “psychic” perception.
At the core of our history-revising history play is its leading lady, Philippa Langley, a screenwriter and secretary of the Scottish branch of the Ricard III Society, a group united in the belief that the 15th century monarch was not the tyrannical monster both history and Shakespeare made him appear to be. Ms. Langley was in the process of writing a screenplay about “the real Richard” and decided to visit the location where some, but certainly not all, historical accounts have stated the body of the last King of York was interned.
Before our tale of intrigue and human intuition unwinds any further, some historical backdrop needs to be given regarding the physicality of where the remains of Richard III supposedly are meant to lie.
King Richard III is the last British monarch to have died while fighting in battle after being fatally wounded at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22nd, 1485.
From that day forward, details regarding the whereabouts of the slain King’s royal remains greatly diverge.
With Richard’s end, so too, ended the War of the Roses and the House of York’s claim to the British throne, as the Tudor Dynasty subsequently began with the ascension of Henry VII following Richard’s defeat.
Some believe Henry VII wanted to physically do away with the remnants of England’s former ruler and their association with the previously ruling dynasty by ordering Richard’s body to be very unceremoniously dumped into the nearby River Soar.
Others say Henry VII ordered for Richard’s body to be found on Bosworth’s blood soaked battlefield, so that his remains could be brought to Leicester and buried at a friary known as Grey Friars.
Which leaves our story’s leading man’s earthly remains ending up either earth bound by land, buried in an old monastery in a town 100 or so miles north of London, or non-earth bound by water as fully dissolved medieval fish food long gone, right?
Not so skeletally simple.
Skimming a few decades following Richard III’s death comes the reign of Henry VII’s son, a rather rotund ruler with a penchant for beheading his non-male bearing spouses named Henry VIII. It was during Henry VIII’s reign that the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church, bringing about the dissolution and, for our story’s point of interest, eventual destruction of all Catholic monasteries in England.
Thus the Shakespearian-ish “history play” aspect of our history re-writing story ends with our leading man’s earth bound remains supposedly being buried in a building… which no longer exists.
Sounds about right. Should be a piece of corpse finding cake going forward (cough.)?!
In Part II of our history revising tale, the leading lady of human intuition makes her grand entrance onto the world’s stage with key supporting roles played by forensic science, DNA swabbing, and Karmic Astrology!
*Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.