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The King's Grave

The King's Grave: The Discovery of Richard III's Lost Burial Place and the Clues It Holds - Philippa Langley, Michael Jones

Richard lll, the War of the Roses, the mysterious disappearances of the two princes in the tower, have long fascinated many , myself included. I was very excited to hear that they had found his bones under a municipal parking lot and wondered how it had come to pass that this is where his bones had been buried. This book answers all these questions and more.


It also tells how Richard's story and life had come to portray him as a villain, of course that was helped along by Shakespeare, and that this may not have been his true character. Of course Tudor revisionist history also helped in this portrayal.  So this tells the story of tracking down documents, getting permits, funding all the other fundamentals and details to get permission for this huge undertaking.


Along the way we learn about Richard, his life, his battle, favorite castles and learn from historical documents  that he most likely was wrongly portrayed. While I found much of this interesting reading, the historical part definitely being my favorite there were a few things that kept me from rating this higher. I think the author would have been better served to have left out the tingly feelings she kept getting in the parking lot, supposedly at the exact spot they later found his bones. Also the vomiting on learning that the bones were of a man who had scoliosis which apparently was what Richard was thought to have suffered from. All this might be true, but it calls out the skeptic in me and makes   me feel a little differently about what I am reading. Maybe that is not fair, but it is how I felt. 


I am glad I read this book, loved the pictures that were included and admire the author's tenacity in pursuing this project.