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Richard III

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse, Act 5, Scene 4 - OK this is not strictly 100% an IT story.....

Ever since English literature lessons at School I've been 'forced' to study Shakespeare - now to be honest I've never really been a big fan of his work. Perhaps its partially because I find his work is pushed rather too much by people who like the idea of liking Shakespeare more than they actually do his work.

However literacy tastes aside what about his contribution to the historical view of Richard III? a masterpiece? a masterpiece in spin perhaps? or a contemporary portrayal based on perceived historical facts written whilst living under the Tudor regime? Either way many believe he's to blame for condemning Richard to the status of histories bogey man.

King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet's, last King to die in battle has recently been found buried underneath a rather drab car parking space in the city of Leicester.

He reigned for a mere two years meeting a rather nasty end around lunch time on Saturday the 22nd August, 1485.  Henry Tudor the victor was later crowned in the nearby village of Stoke Golding and so began the dawn of the Tudor dynasty - It must have been a shock for the residents having a small army descend on their sleepy settlement who even today are a little wary of outsiders.

For many years I lived very close to the site just down the road from Sutton Cheney, near Dadlington  - a mile or so from the Bosworth Battle field visitor centre (where the battle never actually place) I used to drive past the field where he most likely died on my way to work every day.

Shakespeare certainly made Richard famous or perhaps infamous and even today over 500 years after his death he still stands out amongst other  medieval Kings of the time and the excitement and coverage in the media today shows what passions's and loyalties still exist.

Those who have visited the battle centre may have noticed the numerous and rather informal "King Dick's" signs scattered around the site, a title far removed from the image of the evil murderous monarch.

King Dick's Well 
The King Richard III society formed in the 1920's have done a lot to help rehabilitate this tyrant who  thanks to Shakespeare was known as the hunchback with a limp and a withered arm who killed the Princes in the tower.

But is Shakespeare really to blame for this now much questioned view? Well to be fair to Shakespeare, The play Richard III was written just over a 100 years after the battle took place - by which time the Tudors had already discredited Richard in order to ensure their own legitimacy.

We'll probably never really know the truth about King Richard, were the Princes in the Tower, legitimate? Judging by his brother's questionable record with girls at the time probably not! did Richard have them killed? ( I suspect so) but we will probably never be sure - But if Richard had of been the tyrant he was portrayed why did he leave his enemies free to conspire against him, perhaps if he had been the ruthless murderous tyrant he would of have them imprisoned and not ended up buried under a council car park.

Christian MilesLondon, UK