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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse...

Who doesn't know these famous lines by William Shakespeare? In his play, Richard the Third features as a tyrant and a murderer of innocent children.

Being fascinated by history, I became rather interested when I heard that a human skeleton was found on a construction site in Leicester and yesterday it was confirmed that the skeleton is that of the late Richard the Third.

I never could believe Shakespeare and other of his contemporaries told the truth about this monarch. After all, who writes history? Yes, those who are the conquerers. So naturally their views will be colored and not often a little. As far as I know, Richard was a man who loved his brother, king Edward the Fourth and had sworn to protect his young children - which he did. During his reign - he only became king because the marriage between Edward and Elizabeth Woodville was not quite legal. Still the bastard princes were cared for and nothing happened to them.

But once Henry Tudor became England's king, the rumor spread that the princes had been murdered in the Tower. And who would dare to dispute this view? If you did, also you would not live a long life... Tudor needed a reason to occupy England's throne. His marriage to the princess Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward IV, was not enough to  justify his claims. So why not paint the previous king as a bad man, who was capable of murdering his own nephews?

No, as far as I can see Richard was a decent man, and one who endured great pains (look at his backbone, how bent it is, which must have given him great pains to walk and ride a horse). Still he always lead his men into battle and endured the same hardships. Hopefully he will now be seen differently and some future history book will do him credit!

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