Tomb for King Richard III

 
The Cathedral of Leicester announced the new tomb design for King Richard III today and revealed the approximate time of his burial:
Spring 2015.
 
To be honest, I am a bit ‘underwhelmed’ by the new design, because in my opinion now even the previously good parts of the tomb design are gone.
 
To compare, the Leicester Mercury has the picture of the first draft of the design in this article:
Richard III: New tomb design revealed today, by Peter Warzynski (16.06.2014)
 
What strange design competition is that to remove all elements people so far liked about the design and leave only the parts people did in major parts not like?
It is a strange method of the Cathedral of Leicester and a really difficult to understand way to estrange even the remaining supporters for Leicester Cathedral.
 
Perhaps the black stone beneath the tomb is meant to significantly differentiate the tomb design from a white chocolate brick.
But why the circle beneath the tomb, which in my observation had been majorly supported and liked in comments about the first revealed tomb design, now is eliminated as well, is a mystery to me. Except, that it is much easier to lay this rectangular stone floor design and not having to integrate a circle into its midst. Cheaper now, when already such additional expenses have been spent on a new tomb design.
 
I would not criticise the Cathedral so much for this design, if there had not been a previous tomb design, with well based references to the King’s life and even more convincing, with local materials King Richard III would have known and intended to be done by rare and talented hand-craft artists. In addition, even the payment had been secured for this very first design the Cathedral declined, because they initially had only wanted a stone slab in the floor.
So the necessity to accrue further expenses for this indistinct non-entity of a design for the tomb really is beyond my understanding.
 
In a way, Leicester Cathedral really must be angry about getting King Richard III or at least with the Richard III Society, whose members had commissioned and intended to finance the very first design.
Or how should that new tomb design be interpreted?
At least, the designer must somehow be angry with the king or does not want to put too much attention to him and his life, to only show minimalistic references.
 
 
One reason why I just so strongly don’t like this tomb design is, because I had visited stone pits, where the prepared stones look the way the tomb does.
Raw material prepared for the breaking…
Now, you can surely see an analogy that King Richard III had been broken in the Battle of Bosworth and his broken body had been transferred to Leicester.
But to see him as raw material is a strange interpretation of his life. And to break him with a holy cross is a picture the designer really has to explain to me to make me believe in its religious relevance or sensibility.
 
To excuse this poor design as 21st century based, I would argue that even the 21st century can do better…
 
 


 
Please feel free to discuss your opinion about the tomb design here. All opinions are welcome!
The one above is just my interpretation of the design, which unfortunately is not a favourable one, though I had tried hard to remain open-minded for the problems of the Cathedral of Leicester.
 

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

 
 


 
We will try to cover the topic in the article news-stream of KRA as usual.
 
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Defence Costs More Than Dig

 
With King Richard III, the good and the bad always are so close together.
For Leicester to win the court battle while losing money, much more money than the initial dig for King Richard III had cost, certainly is a truth fully in the tradition of King Richard III’s reign.
 

 


 
 
Videos by the University of Leicester about the revelation of the results from the High Court (23.05.2014):
 

 
 

Richard III in Leicester Cathedral

 
The results of the High Court hearing in London are in!
 
The burial license granted to the UoL will not be revoked, allowing now that the started burial procedures in Leicester can continue and a timely burial in Leicester Cathedral can be expected.
 


 
The legal document of the review can be accessed here as a pdf-file and was published on 23 May 2014.
 
To a burial of King Richard III in dignity and with honour!
 

Theatre & History & Richard III

 
First of all, congratulations to Mark Selby, the ‘Jester from Leicester’.
I know, he has nothing to do with King Richard III’s court, though a good jester surely could have been of value there. But I am quite sure King Richard III might have enjoyed the dramatic finale in the Snooker World Championship as well. When two of my favourite Snooker players are in the final competition, unfortunately only one of them can win. Great match, great players, worthy finale!
 
Now to another delicacy for all readers from and visiting London…
 
 


♛ Richard III in London ♛


 
Custom Practice
is an ambitious theatre company from London, founded in 2010.
Their newest production, Shakespeare’s Richard III, by director Rae McKen uses authentic historical costume, designed by Fraz Roughton.
The pictures from the production already shared on Facebook give an interesting glimps of the time and how King Richard III and his comtemporaries might have looked like.
 
Facebook Foto-Album (Also visible without Facebook account.)
 

 
Richard III
Till 18th of May 2014: in The Cockpit, London
From Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd of June 2014: in the Greenwich Theatre, London
 
 
Custom Practice (on Facebook)
 
Custom Practice (Richard III – website)
 
 

Richard Armitage – TheOneRing.net – The End of a King

 
 


TheOneRing.net – Interview by Greendragon


 
Interviewed by GreenDragon for TheOneRing.net (14.04.2014) about his role as Thorin Oakenshield in Sir Peter Jacksons record breaking production “The Hobbit”, Richard Armitage mentions King Richard III again.
 
As glad as I am that even for Tolkien fans King Richard III is worth a question, I must admit, I wonder if the late battles around King Richard III brought this change and caused this very distancing statement about Mr. Armitage’s interest in telling the (hi)story of King Richard III.
 


 
GreenDragon: One last thing I’m interested to ask you about – I keep reading about your fascination with Richard III, and that you have interest in making a film about him. I just wondered what truth there is in any of that?

It was an idea that I had a while back. But my interest in it is really a hobby, of reading biographies, and I was once working with a script writer on something. I don’t know whether a documentary would be of interest… it’s difficult, finding something which is going to be commercially interesting, and for an audience – I don’t know how many people would be that excited about him… My interest in him doesn’t necessarily have to manifest itself in a piece of work. Even if it’s me going back on stage and playing him; it’s purely a hobby for me.

 
GreenDragon: It’s a fascinating topic – particularly when you consider how Shakespeare has painted him into one particular corner…

Yeah, I mean Shakespeare really created a bit of a pantomime and put him at the centre of it. It’s a brilliant thriller, but I don’t know how biased Shakespeare was… Well, I do know how biased he was, because he was writing for a Tudor monarch! But I think there’s a tale to tell. I think the BBC maybe are investigating doing a project about Richard, but we’ll see. I think there’s always room for a new take on it; and there’s plenty of literature out there. The Daughter of Time [Josephine Tey] is such an interesting book, and that would be worth exploring.

 

King Richard & Mr. Armitage & Cheese

 
Richard Armitage is currently filming in Leeds, U.K., and was interviewed by Geeta Pendse from BBC East Midlands Today (02.04.2014), where he once again mentioned his connection to and interest in King Richard III.
 
The video of the interview is available on Facebook (no Facebook account necessary to watch the interview).
 
Perhaps, I should not introduce the interview so neutrally here.
After all, Mr. Armitage is announced in the comment to the video on Facebook as:
 
Gorgeous Hollywood hearthrob“.
 
 
The transcript of the interview part about King Richard III follows here:
 
 


BBC East Midlands Today – Interview with actor Richard Armitage by Geeta Pendse


 
Geeta Pendse: Obviously, your name is Richard, and there is someone very famous that is called Richard, … who was recently discovered in Leicester.

Richard Madeley, I know, that is amazing, isn’t it?

[British readers perhaps will be able to verify the name of the celebrity, Mr. Armitage mentions here in his comment. I just guessed and googled…]
 
Geeta Pendse: Also Richard III. Are you named after Richard III?

I was born on the 22nd of August and that was when he died on the battlefield at Bosworth. That is one of those history questions that I always got right. But my dad was really into Richard III, so he chose that name. I think if I hadn’t been born on the 22nd of August, I might have been called Russell.

 
Geeta Pendse: Do you know, I am born on the 22nd of August and I am not called Richard.

And you are not called Richard.

 
Geeta Pendse: What happened? Maybe it was this whole girl thing.

I don’t know. We could think of another name for you. – Elizabeth.

 
Geeta Pendse: Yeah. And were you aware of this whole story unraveling in Leicester?

I was in New Zealand at the time, so I was receiving the news sort of sporadically. But yeah. I am kind of fascinated and thrilled that they found him and have laid him to rest or whether that’s still up in the air as to where he is going to be laid to rest. But yeah. I still haven’t had chance to visit the site yet, but I will.

 
Geeta Pendse: And do you ever visit Leicester?

I do, especially, I am working in the U.K. at the moment, I am working up in Leeds. I have visited Leicester quite a few times, but mainly to the country side. I haven’t been into the city center for a while.

 
Geeta Pendse: So, if I could bring you one thing from Leicestershire […]

Pork pie and a piece of Stilton.

 
Geeta Pendse: You are on. We will do that.

Deal.

 
 


 
 
I must admit, a man who loves cheese has won my sympathies forever. I am currently on a discovery tour to all the varieties of English cheese, so the end of the following interview was an especial highlight for me.
 
But now follows my first embedding of a Facebook post. So I hope it works…
 

 
 

King Richard III & Envy

 
In my whole observations about the research concerning King Richard III, I always wonder, why everybody thinks to be able to judge him on some prejudice, rumour, envy or other motive and readily dismisses valid research done on a broad basis evaluating the available material.
A historian is bound to build as complete a basis for a research as possible and only after reviewing all (!) available sources, is allowed to come to a conclusion and has to argument from all possible angles the validity of the own conclusions.
 
So you will find me shaking my head in utter astonishment concerning the current discussion about King Richard III, which gets high press coverage in renowned newspapers and magazines.
I also find it hard to decide how best to present this new discussion to you, as in the major part it is so nonsensical, that I wonder why it gets so much and famous attention at all.
 
First I want to state that I am in no way connected to or bound to defend the University of Leicester and one certainly can argue if all researches done by them were necessary or interfered with the dignity of the person of King Richard III, but this current discussion certainly shows they were exceedingly necessary.
 
The argument now raised against the University of Leicester and their result to confirm the identity of the found skeleton as being of King Richard III, is that the skeleton could easily be of some other soldier buried there, just conveniently being of the direct female line leading to King Richard III’s mother.
How many unaccounted for relatives, having the exact female blood line of King Richard III, do you think are lying around somewhere? Or better are lying around at the exact spot King Richard III should be? And in addition have died in the Battle of Bosworth or by incident around that time near Leicester, so that they are buried in the Grey Friars’ Abbey? While just in the late court battle, one of the main arguments against a burial in Leicester is, that King Richard III’s family just had no connections to Leicester? So how can forgotten relatives turn up there? And were the ‘grey friars’, while so discriminating in burying people in the choir of their church, suddenly burying soldiers from the battlefield, carting them all the way from the Bosworth battlefield? Why then were only so few skeletons found and not hundreds and only one with battle marks? Oh, and what a strange method to bury them without clothes and with bound hands? Really, the ‘grey friars’ must have had no piety at all…
 
I could go on much longer, as a result of the conclusive multitude of researches done by the University of Leicester and though some think it may now be enough research done on the skeleton of King Richard III, still the results in their entirety (not necessarily one taken on its own) give us a very complete and convincing affirmation of the skeleton’s identity as being King Richard III.
 
Especially helpful in that regard to see the full picture of research results and why they were done, is the excessive pre-research done by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, who with great determination researched the potential last burial place of King Richard III from all historical angles and laid down his progress of research as well as the conclusions he came to in his work “The Last Days of Richard III”, which we have recommended here repeatedly, as it is the go-to research which was essential in finding King Richard III.
 
 
You see, I think the counter-argument just is so far-fetched as envy possibly can make it. Perhaps, it is due to scholars feeling left out from the euphoria and joy over the find in Leicester and now try to jump on the media attention created by the extraordinary research results in Leicester.
I just don’t get it, why the media jumps on this envy train so readily and let itself be used in such a way.
 
The news stream includes the articles of this new conflict in the sidebar and in the 2014-archive (entries dated around the end of March 2014).
 
But it provides heated arguments and is one more battle area in the new “Wars of the Roses” or rather a new skirmish.
 
(I am quite certain the list of battles around King Richard III will have to be continued …)
 
But now to something creative and constructive about King Richard III:
 
 


♛ King Richard III ♛


 
Matt Lewis – New Podcast series about King Richard III (iTunes)
 

 
Also available via the YouTube channel of Matt Lewis.
 

New Approach to King Richard III

 
Lately there have been quite some delays in delivering the news here on KRA. That is due to me being totally overworked and once again fighting with computer hard- and software. As the problems are not house made, but rather involve service providers and those companies so far have not been able to eliminate the causes for the problems, the difficulties might continue for a while longer, till my entire building and town region get new wires, as those seem to be the most likely culprit, as all else has failed to solve the problem so far.
 
To enable me to keep you updated, while not bother you with numerous messages whenever I have time to accumulate the news, I changed the way of collecting the news stream.
Each news item gets its own post – which, depending on your settings, could result in an individual alert for each newspaper article. As I cannot be sure that is what you are interest in to get here from the KRA website, those news posts now run into a separate sub-blog on the website.
To avoid sending out an alert for every single news article and annoy you with a flood of mails and posts you might or might not be interested in, the news does not go out into the general RSS-feed and newsletter alerts.
 
If you want to get all the news alerts from KRA in the future, you will need to

  • follow us on Twitter, where all alerts run into our tweets
  • or watch our Facebook page, where also all messages are collected indiscriminately.
  • watch the new “NewsStream” pages (NewsStream / 2014-News – annual news selections)
  • or subscribe to the second NewsAlert for the NewsStream in addition to our general Blog-Alerts (Both newsletter subscription forms are in the sidebar. The general blog alert is in the top and the NewsStream subscription form is below the NewsStream-preview.)

 
Subscribe to NewsStream-Updates:

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News gets announced as soon as I find it and have time to put it up.
The NewsStream pages are strictly sorted by day, so news I find at a later date might not always be the last on top, but will show up on the pages at the correct date the news was originally published.
 
This is in no way a guarantee that the NewsStream will either cover all news or necessarily your or our opinion. I am only human and only take articles which do not copy content already mentioned elsewhere, but really have news and something ‘new’ in them.
As I am over my head in work, I hope this is a way to either keep you updated and still keep the workload doable for me.
 
Greetings and best wishes,
CDoart
 


♛ King Richard III ♛


 
Some older news, which I still want to mention, as they are central in the latest discussions about King Richard III and his adequate handling. The UStream video-stream of the King Richard III conference held by the St. Louis University temporarily was not available or only transferred with major sound problems at the time. I now tested it once again and currently it works fine, so I want to bring it to your attention again.

Richard Armitage Asked About King Richard III

 
The Anglophile Channel, U.S.A. revealed that
due to the results of their poll with participation worldwide, Richard Armitage is the
 

“Favourite British Artist of the Year 2013”.

 
In combination with giving Richard Armitage his well deserved price trophy, Marlise Boland interviewed him and asked the for us central question what Richard Armitage intends to do about King Richard III:
 
Marlise Boland: Is it true you were named after Richard III?

RA: It is true. Yes. I was born on the 22nd of August …

Marlise Boland: The day of his demise.

RA: Right. At the Battle of Bosworth.

Marlise Boland: So you do have affinity to that historical character.
Do you want to play him on stage or do you want to have a film project made out of his story?

RA: He is never really far from my head when it comes to assembling some kind of visual documentation of his life. […] I think he deserves a cinematic outing, that story.
I think it is an extraordinary tale. I think the Wars of the Roses is extraordinary. The last […] English monarch to die on the battlefield – in combat – and actually, a noble death.
A misinterpreted character, I think. But that is the reason to go exploring, because we don’t really know. […]
I don’t know whether I’ll get to play him in a movie, but I’ll certainly have a crack at him on stage.

Marlise Boland: Would you write the script? Have you written a script?

RA: I am not much of a writer. I am good at adapting other people’s writing.
But, yea. The assembling of ideas and gathering people together on a table is something that is my longterm goal over the next 30 years.
I’ll probably be acting less and producing more.

 
 

(The interview “Richard Armitage Interview Part 3: Richard the Third! with Marlis Boland (09.03.2014)” with Richard Armitage was released in three parts on YouTube. Here in the third part the question about King Richard III starts at about 3:10.)
 
The Anglophile Channel, U.S.A. (future website)
 


 

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March 23, 2015

Colin Baker to star in film about discovery of Richard III’s remains (by Harry Fletcher, DigitalSpy.co.uk)


March 22, 2015

King Richard III reinterment: Live (Leicester Mercury)


March 22, 2015

Richard III returns to Bosworth Field for final time (by Sarah Knapton, The Telegraph)


March 22, 2015

Video – Live Transmission from Leicester (The Telegraph)


March 22, 2015

EXCLUSIVE Queen honours ‘evil’ monarch: Royals have a change of heart over Richard III (by Camilla Tominey, Express)


March 22, 2015

Last journey of a King: Thousands line streets of Leicester for Richard III’s final burial (by Nick Gutteridge, Express)


March 22, 2015

Richard III’s coffin received into Leicester Cathedral in preparation for the reinterment (by Peter Warzynski, Leicester Mercury)


March 22, 2015

Richard III: Events during the week of the reinterment (by Merc_Reporter, Leicester Mercury)


March 21, 2015

48 Hours: Our pick of the weekend (Leicester Mercury)


March 21, 2015

Picture Gallery – Richard III Day at Leicester University (Leicester Mercury)


 

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