I feel I know a lot about Richard III now. First I read The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey about a inspector "solving" the crime of the "Princes in the Tower" from his hospital bed. A very enjoyable read. This book is a 'real' look into the mystery of Richard III and the search for his grave. But it is also a quest to try to find out who he was and try to find a more nuanced picture of the man and his deeds. His bad reputation, which was emphasised by Tudor propaganda at the time, and the still not solved mystery of who killed the "Princes of the Tower".
Philippa Langley spent several years researching and planning for the project of finding the grave of Richard III. It took her to Leicester and the Medieval Church of the Grey Friars. She managed to find and enrol experts within various fields as well as Leicester city council and universities. But it is not only a matter of finding the right people to the project but one of the most important thing in cases like this is to find funding. She managed and the project was ready to go. The media was also interested which was a positive thing for the project.
|Philippa Langley and Michael Jones, historian|
and writer of the life of Richard III
We know when we start the book that the grave was found. It is nevertheless a very interesting and exciting story, better than any made up mystery novel. Every other chapter is about the dig and in every other chapter we get the story of Richard III and his life and deeds. It gives the story a very realistic twist as if we are following the man at the same time as we are following the traces to find his grave.
With all the new scientific innovations these days there are a lot of ways of establishing how old bones are and who they belong to (don't we all know from watching Bones!). Once the bones were found and identified it was possible to know more about how he died considering the wounds to his skull and it was also possible to make a facial reconstruction on how he looked. Here he is!
|Facial reconstruction from|
Richard III's skull!