I’ve found myself looking at screencaps of the reconstruction of RIII’s face yet again tonight. I’m drawn to it, as I am to the whole archaeological project known as “The King under the car park.”
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.
“He’s very handsome. It’s like you could just talk to him, have a conversation with him right now.” A quote from the BBC website
I have to agree with Philippa. Looks can be deceiving, of course, but even in the portraits of the day, which might or might not have been accurate, I never got the sense of the pantomime villain presented to us so often. History, it is said, is written by the victors; the losers often get the very short end of the stick.
I’ve always loved history. To see it come to life in the way it has with these recent developments, to hear all the details of these bones, to imagine in my mind those bones transforming into the flesh and blood man, an anointed king, a valiant warrior, brutally killed and then disrespected in death . . . I felt a sense of awe mingled with sadness.
We cannot change the past and the ignominious way Richard Plantagenet was treated in death.
But something can be done to rectify the image molded by Shakespeare and other writers of Richard III as an ugly hunchback with a withered arm and a dark, poisonous heart, a villainous murderer with no redeeming qualities.
Richard Plantagenet was a human being and certainly not perfect, but many signs point to him being a much more sympathetic (and far better-looking) individual and a better king than history and literature have painted him.
That’s why I am so psyched at the notion of Richard III’s story being told on screen. Even if Richard Armitage is unable for whatever reason to play a part in its coming to fruition, I dearly hope it happens.
Richard III Society member and RIII screenwriter Philippa Langley at the site of the excavation. Courtesy of examiner.com.
I have a lot of admiration for Philippa Langley and her dogged determination to find the King and to see his tale told properly. I appreciate all those who supported and participated in this dig and the dedicated researchers whose efforts established beyond a reasonable doubt the identity of the bones. What an amazing odyssey!
Here’s a link to the live Q&A held earlier today by Channel 4 with Philippa and Professor Lin Foxhall of the University of Leicester. There’s some interesting queries and responses if you haven’t seen it yet:
And just for fun, this bit of art that’s been making the rounds on the Net:
And a glimpse of Guy, looking rather Richard III-like: