For the past few weeks I have been following the updates from the Richard III Society about what is now called the Grey Friar’s dig in Leicester which is now under a car parking lot. My freshmen english research paper was on King Richard III and his part in the mystery of the princes in the tower. So, naturally, I am excited about all the enlightenment and hype on a story that I have been so attached to for the past few years.
The archeologists in charge of the dig located this site through historical evidence as the place where King Richard III was flippantly buried after being brutally killed and usurped by King Henry VII (King Henry VIII’s father) at the Battle of Bosworth. And as they suspected, they were able to find remains of a male that had evidence of serious battle wounds and a curved spine. If you have ever read or watched Shakespeare’s “King Richard III” it looks like a perfect fit. Whether he was the murderous, hunchbacked, tyrant is still yet to be completely proven (although Alison Weir’s “Princes in the Tower” is the most convincing).
Back to the remains: however convincing this evidence, the remains are now being DNA tested with the DNA of King Richard III’s closest living relative, a cabinet-maker in London. This in itself I think is incredible. Can you imagine being called up one day while living your day-to-day life by university officials saying they have found what they think to be the remains of King Richard III and they need your DNA to test it, because you are his closest descendent. Talk about a surreal connection to history. Anyways, here is the link to the story from BBC, if you are interested.
Obviously, I am more attached to this ground-breaking historical discovery (if indeed it is proven to be Richard III) than most people, especially people here in the U.S., but, I encourage you to read more about it. History is always the best story-teller (in my opinion). That is probably why I am so caught up in historical fiction, so many good (and truly real) characters. Not to mention this story just happens to be one of the biggest mysteries in history.
Hmmm, might be a good story idea…. man reconnects with his past, the past of the much debated and complicated character, King Richard III.