Call me an oddball, but my favorite current weird news story is the whole Richard III skeleton found in a Leicester car park (Britspeak for parking lot) saga. It’s got it all: death, royals, and DNA. The pro-Plantagenet press corps is busy bashing the Tudor-ites who, in turn, are dissing the Windsors. I made that last bit up.
It’s always fun when historical myth turns out to be true as it has in this case. Of course, it has also brought on a bit of revisionism as well: was poor Richard as bad as Shakespeare made him out to be? Probably not, the Bard was sucking up to the Tudors and it would have been hard for *anyone* to be as big a monster as Henry VIII.
My interest in Richard III stems from a very good high school English teacher, Miss Jackson, who had a way of teaching Shakespeare that held the interest of a group of hormonally crazed California teenagers. Not an easy feat.
The Guardian has been all over the story.Here’s the master link. The latest story is about the re-creation of Richard’s face. I prefer to think of the face of the great actor who played him in the modernized version of Shakespeare’s Richard III that hit stage and screen in the 1990′s, Ian McKellen. He is, alas, better known for wearing a ZZ Top-style beard whilst playing Gandalf but here he is playing the King as Fascist dictator: