Crossposted from Tumblr
The skeleton found in a Greyfriars carpark is that of Richard III, killed in the Battle of Bosworth.
Back in 2008 there was a discussion on HPfGU about "published" fanfic (some of that discussion ended up in Bookshop's I'm Done Explaining Why Fanfic Is Okay LJ post & comments thereto), and I rambled a bit about whether Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time qualified as fanfic of Shakespeare's Richard III. In a pithy way, it may be, but it's more that it looks at the same source material, the historical record, and comes to a different storyline, set of characters and, in fact, conclusion.
As was pointed out to me at the time, Shakespeare puts Richard as Duke of Gloucester in a battle when he's eight years old, exaggerates his failings and blames him for the deaths of the princes when it was more likely an action by the Tudors and their supporters, because in Shakespeare's time, and world, the support of Queen Elizabeth was vital to his success. He was much better off lauding her grandfather and belittling the man Henry VII had deposed.
From the City of York's website, regarding Richard's plans for after his death, and what actually happened....
Richard even planned to be buried at York Minster, a radical ambition as English monarchs were traditionally interred at Westminster Abbey. He planned to build an enormous chantry chapel at the Minster where 100 additional chaplains would pray for his soul.
York looked to Richard to help it at a time of economic decline, and actively championed his short reign. The city sent troops to support his cause, including 80 dispatched to support him after Henry Tudor’s invasion. They were too late and the Tudor era had begun.
‘King Richard, late mercifully reigning over us, was through great treason . . . piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city,’ reported the mayor’s serjeant of the mace a day after Richard’s death at the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485.
So today the news heralds the disclosure that RIchard III's skeleton was found in a carpark, and I'll hope to make a trek there the next time I'm in the UK, as well as to wherever they set as his final resting place. Will he be brought to York, or to Westminster? Does the Queen make this decision?
What will the confirmation of this discovery do for his reputation and place in history? Inquiring Ricardians want to know, and want to shape and impact the discussion.