13.9.12

My kingdom for a horse...

Yesterday my friend Infowitch posted this article from the Telegraph:  'Strong evidence' Richard III's body has been found – with a curved spine. She then said that she was off to re-read Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time.

When I was a young teen (13? 14?) my father suggested I read that book.  It was my first exposure to Josephine Tey, but more important it was my first inkling that perhaps Shakespeare was - gasp - a propagandist.  Being the odd child I was, I stared looking into the real Richard III and what we knew (and didn't know).  Then, in my 20s, I discovered Elizabeth Peters and her Vicky Bliss books, specifically The Murders of Richard III.

Since then I've seen two great productions of Richard: one at BAM starring Ian McKellen (available as a film for those not lucky enough to have seen it in person) and one at the Public, starring Peter Dinklage. Very different productions, very different interpretations of Richard.  McKellen's was Hitleresque, and the production hammered home his despotic, cruel personality.  There was no hunch, but he was certainly malformed (the scene where he singlehandedly put on a glove? amazing).  Dinklage, being far shorter than virtually any other actor on stage, used his lack of height as his crutch, growing in power and cruelty as the production progressed.  By the end, he virtually loomed over the other actors.

So now we have the possibility of finding his bones.  With or without hump, the question of Who Killed Those Two Princes has not been definitively answered.  Unlike my friend, I'm going to check out Alison Weir's The Princes in the Tower.

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