Richard III – New Spine Research

 
Shakespearean truth is theatrical truth, so is crunched, condensed and bended to fit the stage.
The same seems to apply for the spine of King Richard III…
 
New research confirms the side bending scoliosis and the higher right shoulder, though in combination with the found spiral helix form, King Richard III might have appeared normal to observers and rather un-handicapped in his movements.
 
This rather limits the potential timeframe of the ‘revealing’ of his ‘deformity’ down to his naked exposure in Leicester after his death. And, via the told and re-told versions of a century, enhanced and sensationalised, the stage version of Shakespeare’s King Richard III comes out.
 


 
Published report about the scientific reconstruction of King Richard III’s spine:
Research done by the University of Leicester in co-operation with the University of Cambridge, Loughborough University and the University Hospitals of Leicester.
(Copyright of the included material: University of Leicester)
 

 
Interactive model of the spine here:

(Copyright: University of Leicester)
 
Explanations and interview with Professor Bruno Morgan and Dr Piers Mitchell about their spine reconstruction here via SoundCloud:

 


 
Further background articles on the topic:
 

  • Antiquity: ‘The king in the car park’: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485, by Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O’Sullivan and Lin Foxhall (Antiquity, Volume: 87, Number: 336, Page: 519–538)
  •  

  • Timees Literary Supplement (TLS): Richard Crookback, by Sarah Knight and Mary Ann Lund (06.02.2013)
  •  

  • Scoliosis Research Society: Idiopathic Scoliosis

 
 


 
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August 22, 2019

10 things you need to know about the battle of Bosworth (by Chris Skidmore, BBC History Extra)


June 16, 2019

Philippa Langley on RIII – Podcast: BBC Interview of 6th January, 2015 (RadioPublic.com)


February 20, 2019

Richard III: Leicester Cathedral £11.3m plans approved (by BBC East Midlands, BBC News)


October 4, 2018

The battle for Bosworth field: Historians react to decision to build on battlefield where Richard III died (by Rachel Dinning, BBC History Extra)


May 23, 2018

Richard III find historian John Ashdown-Hill dies (BBC News)


April 9, 2018

The secret intimacies of Edward IV: multiple marriages and a same-sex affair? (by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, History Extra)


October 24, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: “Sleepwalker” star Richard Armitage is Living the Dream (by Izumi Hasegawa, What’s Up Hollywood)


September 12, 2017

Was Richard III a loyal brother or murderous tyrant? 60 seconds with Chris Skidmore (by Rachel Dinning, History Extra)


February 24, 2017

Richard III’s Prayer Book Goes Online … and Is That a Personal Note? (by Stephanie Pappas, Live Science)


December 1, 2016

Love, Love, Love’s Richard Armitage on Dancing Like a Teenager Backstage, His Royal Bucket List Role & More (by Broadway.com Staff, The Broadway Channel)


 

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