Now Is The Winter Of History’s Discontent:
Richard III’s Revised Remains
By: Brad Kronen
Part The First: The Historical Play Recounting Richard’s Remains
“Now is the winter of History’s discontent
Made glorious last summer by this son of York”
Stop the presses, folks. It appears that both History and the Bard need some serious revisions.
No, the above isn’t an intentional butchering of that icon of the English language, the Bard of Avon, otherwise known as William Shakespeare. It’s actually the joining of 2 endings of one story which provides justified completion and rightful closure to the life of a very falsely maligned King. A series of events which began last summer and that subsequently have been confirmed to completion just a few days ago this winter, which decree that History, as modern society knows it, needs to be completely re-written.
To be specific, English Medieval History, and perhaps even more shocking, the History of William Shakespeare and his literary world.
Just this week, on February 4th, 2013 an official announcement was made stating that recently discovered bones found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England have been officially confirmed to be the remains of one of the most vilified monarchs of all Time, Richard III.
What’s truly astounding about one of the greatest archaeological finds of this century is its coming about through the joint efforts of 2 very different, one could say almost juxtaposing, forces: cutting-edge computer technology and powerfully honed human intuition, better non-tangibly known as “psychic” perception.
At the foundational core of our History-revising history play is its leading lady, Philippa Langley, a screenwriter and secretary of the Scottish branch of the Ricard III Society, a group of people united in the belief that the 15th century monarch was not the tyrannical monster both History and Shakespeare had made him appear to be. Ms. Langley was in the process of writing a screenplay about “the real Richard” and decided to visit the location where some, but certainly not all, historical accounts have stated the body of the last King of York was interned.
Before our tale of intriuge and human intuition unwinds any further, some historical backdrop needs to be given regarding the physicality of where the remains of Richard III were supposedly meant to lie.
King Richard III is the last British monarch to have died while fighting in battle, after being fatally wounded at Bosworth Field on August 22nd, 1485.
From that day forward, details regarding the whereabouts of the slain King’s royal remains begin to diverge.
With Richard’s end, so too, ended The War of the Roses and the House of York’s claim to the British throne, as the Tudor Dynasty subsequently began with the ascension of Henry VII, following Richard’s defeat.
Some believe Henry VII wanted to physically do away with the remnants of England’s former ruler and their association with the previously ruling dynasty quickly, and once and for all, by ordering Richard’s body to be very unceremoniously dumped into the nearby River Soar.
Others say Henry VII ordered that Richard’s body be found on Bosworth’s blood soaked battlefield, so that it could be brought to Leicester, and buried at a friary, known as Grey Friars.
Which leaves our story’s leading man’s earthly remains ending up either earth bound and by land, buried in an old monastery in a town 100 or so miles north of London, or non-earth bound and by water, as long gone, fully dissolved medieval fish food, right?
Not so skeletally simple.
Skimming a few decades later, comes the reign of Henry VII’s son, a rather rotund ruler with a penchant for beheading his non-male bearing spouses named Henry VIII. It was during Henry VIII’s reign that the Church of England separated from Papal authority and the Roman Catholic Church, bringing about the dissolution and, for our story’s point of interest, eventual destruction of all Catholic monasteries in England.
Thus the history play aspect of our history re-writing story ends with our leading man’s earth bound remains supposedly being buried in a building which no longer exists?
Sounds about right. Should be a piece of corpse finding cake, right?!
In Part II of our history revising tale, the leading lady of Human Intuition makes her grand entrance onto the world’s stage with key supporting roles played by Forensic Science, DNA swabbing, and Karmic Astrology!