Monday, March 23, 2015

Bring Out Your Dead!


“And therefore, — since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days, —
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.”
William Shakespeare, Richard III    

I was planning to write a wee update on my outfits of late in the hopes that they would call forth Spring, but I admit to being very busy all weekend and frankly, my attention has gone elsewhere - to Leicester, England in fact.

Those who know me well know I a) love history b) love the history of the English Monarchy and c) love a good scandal.

So for the past several years I have watched with great interest as the bones of old Dickie the Third were dug up at the local grocery store.  I admit to jealousy, as the only thing I have yet to dig up at the grocery store is rotten bananas, but I digress.

The last York King, Richard has been much maligned in history and theatre, depending upon the perspective.  At the very least, he was an ambitious, aggressive man, who managed to have two other brother conveniently die in advance of him so he might have the throne.

He's never caught a break - until now.

But all good things must come to the end, and Richard got his.  In the 15th century, that meant the battlefield and friends turning into foes.  Wait that seems very modern, doesn't?


Is this the face of a King?  Apparently...

Regardless, the discovery of Richard's bones, hidden neatly beneath a parking lot, required a decision about where they would find their final resting place, since one assumes that the clackety clack of the broken wheels of the shopping carts being dragged to the waiting car was getting to him.

Never fear, the British are a proud and noble people and they give, as we like say Chez Wendy, good pomp.



I see he's right in front of the Dorothy Perkins store, he might want to pop in...

So Richard's bones have been touring around the English countryside lately so everyone could get a good look at this bones 500 years later, making their way slowly to the town of Leicester, will they will lie in state and then be reburied.  Honestly, Richard probably didn't get this kind of attention when he was King, so you gotta think he is enjoying himself wherever he is now.



On Thursday the King will be reburied.  I, for one, will be watching.  I don't know about you, but I feel finally at peace about the whole thing.  I mean, it was really nagging at me.

They say that revenger is a dish best served cold.  If living well is the best revenge, surely dying well and being feted 500 years later is even better, no?

Well played, Richard, well played...

“I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die.”
William Shakespeare, Richard III    

 

24 comments:

  1. You never know when it's truly over... I'd love to know the truth to all those events! I did like Philipa Gregory's rendition. Did you read her books?

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    1. I really like her books and she certainly developed severals perspectives on him, didn't she?

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  2. What a magnificent horse! Wow. I am not up to speed on my "royal news". In the throes of March Madness and all things collegiate basketball. That and T is home for a few days so I have to dote on him when I am not washing his clothes, taking him shopping, and stuffing his face.

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    1. Just another thing to add to your list....

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  3. Have been fascinated since reading Dorothy Tey's excellent The Daughter of Time.

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    1. I haven't read that! Off to add to my kindle!

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  4. Truly you could not make that up, people are crazy! We're crazy! Touring around 500yo bones?
    My friend Sylvia just sent me a picture of herself chatting up old Prince Chuck and the Duchess in Washington last week, I'm having lunch with her on Friday and I can't wait to find out what she said to him. I'll keep you posted.

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    1. I find it wildly romantic! I met charles in 1995; he was very charming and grind le and talked to sydney and I at length.

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  5. I read the Daughters of Time as a teenager, and thought RIchard the III was an awful man. Then I had a son, named him Richard, and he is a "third" so now, I am hoping that the society that is pro RIchard can exonerate him, because otherwise I bestowed a beastly name upon my son. Hence we call him RJ.

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    1. Well perhaps history will prove kinder to Richard. History is littered with multiple versions, depending upon who was telling the story. and I think it is a lovely name, not beastly at all!

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  6. Oh Wendy, this is hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh :) well played indeed

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  7. I thought it was all very well done, I watched some of it on TV, it's quite an amazing story.

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    1. It is! And to think a Canadian helped sort it all out with his DNA!

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  8. I've enjoyed following this story. Those stable Y chromosomes! I know a very good Richard...

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  9. I love history too, and in particular British history... This story is fascinating, how did they know where to dig?

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    1. So interesting - but that's my question too!

      Why ever would they guess that an old skeleton found under a car park might be Richard 111?
      You'll guess I haven't seen the relevant television programs apart from the great series "The White Queen". Best wishes, Pamela

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    2. A smart researcher hit on searching for something various entities wanted to find that had been connected to the king, because she knew it would be tough to get permission for a "long lost monarch" hunt. The as incredible thing is, while they didn't know it was Richard III's skeleton at first, they found it on the first day of the permit for the dig (a very strict thing in the U.K. with so many layers of built-up history close together.) You can read one of the many fascinating articles about it here: http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-woman-who-found-richard-iii/

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    3. Where he might be was sourced by a keen researcher who sussed out that it would be better to search for a location tied to the king that a lot of other groups were trying to find than to request permission to dig for a "long lost monarch" and raise hackles in historical and municipal circles. The as amazing thing is that they found him, although they did not know it was Richard III at first, the first day of the permit for the dig -- a tightly controlled process in the U.K., where layers of history and building foundations are so built up, so close together. Here's just one of the stories about the find from a couple of years ago: http://www.macleans.ca/society/the-woman-who-found-richard-iii/

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  10. Richard III was demonized by the Tudors in order to make Henry VII's tenuous claim to the throne of England seem the only way to peace and security. Even the young Thomas More, working for a young Cardinal (ahem), did some of the writing.

    I've been thinking how society seems to need demons and scapegoats, and it's a scary thing to ponder. Mostly, I think, the demonizing or scapegoating distracts from the real issue, which is very often rooted in a form of incompetence - inability to govern, to make crops grow, to cure plague - if those we believe to be good can't make bad things go away, there must be demons at work.

    As you can imagine, I was very impressed by Monica Lewinsky's TED talk.

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  11. That is an extremely smart written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

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  12. Wendy, I was fascinated with this whole story. My family thinks I'm looney, but what an interesting journey finding him there. I didn't know they were taking the bones about, but I did hear he was a nicer person than made out to be apparently...! Thanks for sharing this!! Kim

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  13. Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.

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  14. very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my knowledge grow better.

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Kindness is a virtue...