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  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Hero or villain? Historians debate the legacy of King Richard III

    ...Described as "deformed" and "unfinish'd", jealous, and ambitious hunchback in Shakespeare's play, which was first performed in the 1590s, it is difficult to know if the man the playwright said battled on foot and cried out "A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!", is a true reflection of the king, or merely a creation of imagination.According to scientists at the University of Leicester, there is evidence of curvature of the spine - suggesting the unattractive quality had not been a slander by those who opposed Richard....Historian Suzannah Lipscomb wrote in a BBC online article: "It is not surprising that for centuries Richard III has been synonymous with evil tyranny and physical deformity."To argue otherwise has been to take on three of history's greats - Sir Thomas More, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill, all of whom argued that Richard had been a man with a crooked back and a crooked life."...