Being a wee bit of a history nerd, I greeted the news confirming that Richard III’s bones had been dug up in a parking lot in Leicester with great excitement. I mean how often do we get to rehabilitate one of history’s greatest (and many argue much maligned) villains? No doubt we will soon see a rash of new books, both fiction and non-fiction, on dear old Richard and there’s even talk (no surprise) of a movie.
What I love most about the ‘mythology’ surrounding Richard III is the passion it raises. For me that’s what makes history come to life – real people and real questions over what they did or did not do (always more interesting when allegations of murder are thrown into the pot as well!). From Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time to Sharon Penman’s Sunne in Splendour and Anne Easter Smith’s A Rose for the Crown, I’ve always loved reading interpretations of Richard III’s life.
Who knows what other new evidence will come to light now we literally have his bones to study (for instance, they have already put together a facial reconstruction of what he would have looked like and confirmed Richard did indeed have curvature of the spine). The next logical step in the possible ‘rehabilitation’ of Richard III would be to locate the bones of the princes he supposedly had murdered (rumoured to lie beneath Westminster Abbey).
I just love this kind of stuff!
So what would you like to see as the next ‘coolest grave’ to be discovered? How about Genghis Khan as some have suggested? Rumor has it British archaeologists have their sights of uncovering the remains of both Alfred the Great and Henry I but I’m not sure how much public excitement either of these ‘finds’ would generate.
What famous bones would you like to see unearthed?