Richard III: “He wasn’t a hunchback, he just had a crooked spine, GOSH!”

Before I get to good old Ricky 3, first, let me take a moment to geek out about how much I love the newspaper. In an age where most people get their news from their Twitter feed, I’ve fallen in love with the printed word. Actually I have an online subscription to the Globe and Mail because that’s what my work would pay for (it’s part of my job requirements to read the paper every day). But the point is, though while reading the news can be a bit overwhelming because you jump into the middle of a story that’s been unraveling for months, it’s also really really exciting! For example, right now, there’s a story about how Delisle, a Canadian Naval officer who admitted to being a Russian spy – A RUSSION SPY PEOPLE! – cracked under RCMP questioning. This is real life! It’s so exciting! It’s deeply, deeply saddening on a very depressing level, but it’s like a story out of a movie. There’s also a story about the Mafia in Montreal. For real.

And there’s my personal favourite tidbit of news, experts have found the remains of Richard III under a parking lot. Really regal, am I right? For those of you who don’t know who Richard III is, you’re clearly not an English major, so here’s his Wikipedia page full of “facts” and such. I, so very fortunately, took the History of the British Isles with my friend Emil, and also studied the play Richard III approximately three times in University. I have a hard time separating what actually happened historically, and what Shakespeare just wrote about in his historical tragedy. However, I think the most hilarious and unexpected part of the Globe article is not that Ricky 3 was identified using a Canadian man’s DNA, but that there’s a Richard III Society that devotes their time to tirelessly working on improving his public image. Which is clearly time well spent on the reputation of a dead guy, who got a bad rap from only the most famous writer likely EVER. Yeah, try undoing the work of Shakespeare. See how that goes for you. In my mind, the Richard III society goes around saying a lot of things like:

  • “He wasn’t a hunchback, he just had a crooked spine, GOSH!”
  • “There’s no proof he ACTUALLY killed his nephews…”
  • “Shakespeare is SUCH a gossip, starting all those rumours. Haters be hatin’.”

They also try and defend him by bringing up all the wonderful policy changes he made to the legal system, things we still use today, like  introducing bail and creating supposition of innocence (you’re innocent until proven guilty). This must have been awfully convenient for him, being the suspected nephew killer he was.

All in all Ricky 3, it’s terribly exciting that we’ve found your remains after all these years. Rest assured your society is hard at work establishing a more appropriate eternal resting place. Not that there’s anything wrong with car parks…

~ Julia

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