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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:26 PM

Richard III dig: Facial reconstruction shows how king may have looked

Source: BBC Online

A facial reconstruction based on the skull of Richard III has revealed how the English king may have looked.



Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21328380



Contemporary accounts of Richard III described him as "handsome".

I think he was bloody gorgeous!

37 replies, 7433 views

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Reply Richard III dig: Facial reconstruction shows how king may have looked (Original post)
Matilda Feb 2013 OP
burrowowl Feb 2013 #1
another_liberal Feb 2013 #2
Historic NY Feb 2013 #3
Matilda Feb 2013 #4
Gemini Cat Feb 2013 #17
donco Feb 2013 #5
Matilda Feb 2013 #7
donco Feb 2013 #11
JDPriestly Feb 2013 #6
FourScore Feb 2013 #16
Kablooie Feb 2013 #19
jberryhill Feb 2013 #28
Beacool Feb 2013 #8
Ilsa Feb 2013 #9
Matilda Feb 2013 #10
daleo Feb 2013 #12
Ilsa Feb 2013 #21
Democracyinkind Feb 2013 #26
ChazInAz Feb 2013 #13
Matilda Feb 2013 #15
NBachers Feb 2013 #14
csziggy Feb 2013 #18
SemperEadem Feb 2013 #20
Demeter Feb 2013 #22
SemperEadem Feb 2013 #23
T_i_B Feb 2013 #24
Matilda Feb 2013 #35
lunatica Feb 2013 #25
Brigid Feb 2013 #27
winter is coming Feb 2013 #29
Iterate Feb 2013 #30
mgc1961 Feb 2013 #31
crim son Feb 2013 #32
mgc1961 Feb 2013 #33
Matilda Feb 2013 #34
babydollhead Feb 2013 #36
Matilda Feb 2013 #37

Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:33 PM

1. Far out!

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:35 PM

2. Doesn't Shakespeare have him . . .

Doesn't Shakespeare have him charming his brother's widow as she is walking beside her husband's casket on the way to his funeral? I guess this helps to explain that a bit.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:38 PM

3. This keeps getting better what else is under wraps...

Richard was so maligned but so brave when those whose loyality he wanted deserted him on the field of battle.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:51 PM

4. +100

Perhaps when people see how Tudor propaganda lied about his physicality, they will take the trouble to find out they also lied about his character.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:32 AM

17. + 1,000,000!

I hope so. It would be great that after 527 years his rep was restored and the Tudor propaganda was finally discredited.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:06 PM

5. anyone know

If there is anything about how tall he was?

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Response to donco (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:10 PM

7. He would have been 5'8",

but the curvature of his spine took an inch or more off his height.

Edit to add: Of course, at that time, 5'6" was an average height for a man, so he would still have looked about average.

His brother, Edward IV, was over 6'.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:04 PM

11. Thanks for the reply.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:07 PM

6. Looks like his original portrait was pretty close.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:11 AM

16. That's what I was thinking. n/t

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 01:28 AM

19. It says the earliest portrait we have is a copy of the original.

So the original might have even been closer.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:42 AM

28. Ummm.... Yeah, right down to the hat!


There is a good deal of "art" involved in facial reconstruction. Did he have acne scars? Blemishes? Freckles? Warts? Who knows.

However, given the latitude of unknowns involved in creating a facial reconstruction, having another artists depiction of what he looked like at hand renders the outcome of the reconstruction to be something other than an objective coincidence.

Unsurprisingly, the reconstruction also resembles Madame Tussaud's depiction, which didn't even need a skull to work from:

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:25 PM

8. Cool!!!

Yes, he was a good looking man.



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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:26 PM

9. I thought I heard that he also had severe scoliosis, and

That created a wave of discrimination against him. After all, wasn't a deformed child supposed to be a sign of God's displeasure? I think I heard the BBC reporter say that the archeologists figured it might be him because the spinal vertebra were so disfigured. He was reported to be a "hunchback".

They said he also eliminated some antiquated laws preventing common people from having access to printing machines, the written word, etc.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:48 PM

10. The scoliosis was reasonably severe,

and the result was that one shoulder was higher than the other. It developed at about the age of 10. But he walked normally and was a good soldier.

I've never read from contemporary accounts that he was discriminated against during his lifetime because of his appearance - it's on record that he was considered handsome, although not as handsome as his brother, Edward IV.

It was the Tudors, aided by Shakespeare, who put about that he was grossly deformed, with a hunchback, a whithered arm, and a limp, and with a heart as deformed as his body. The tragedy is that it's this image that's survived, because it's the winners who
write history.

One good result of this discovery will be (I hope) that now that we know the truth about his appearance, the truth about his character will come to be known.

In his one Parliament, he passed laws that aided the poor against those of power and influence - ruling that it was illegal to seize the property of anyone accused of crime until that person was convicted in court; making it illegal to bribe judges and jurors (a common practice until then); ruling that any person, however poor, with a grievance, could make a petition direct to the king; and he banned the system known as "benevolences" - forced taxes levied on the wealthier classes given as "gifts" to the king. (Henry VII lost no time in restoring these taxes.)

He was a good administrator and had the potential to become a great king.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:18 PM

12. Very interesting

Thanks.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:31 AM

21. Thank you for the details. I like

Getting more details like this. I don't have the time to dive into history, but it's good to see favorable things written about him.

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Response to Matilda (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:24 AM

26. Thank you.


Apt description of Shakespeare and the Tudors!

Although, as a trained historian myself, I have to correct one thing you wrote: History is often written by total losers.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:28 PM

13. Well, well.

That's a Plantagenet face, alright, with the Roman nose, long jaw and prominent chin. His portraits did him justice.
Amusingly, when I had the honor to play him a few years ago, I used the background portrait for the makeup (I don't look anything like him). Thinking that he suffered from scoliosis instead of a hunchback, I hoiked my left shoulder up...getting it backwards from reality. The lameness I assumed was due to sciatic pain caused by the back problem...something I still believe would have been an issue for him.
Of course, it was still England's greatest writer echoing over a century's worth of Tudor propaganda. But what a role!

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Response to ChazInAz (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:05 AM

15. He must have had some back pain,

but contemporaries made no reference to a limp. That was purely Will!

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:36 PM

14. So is there a resemblance here, or is it just my eyes?

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:35 AM

18. He reminds me of Thomas Gibson

Who plays Aaron Hotchner on "Criminal Minds".

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004959/?ref_=tt_cl_t3

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:28 AM

20. what do looks have to so with anything?

Richard III Society member Philippa Langley, originator of the search, said on a Channel 4 documentary earlier: "It doesn't look like the face of a tyrant. I'm sorry but it doesn't.



Yeah, and Ted Bundy didn't look like a raping murderer, either.

What does a tyrant exactly look like? (That's rhetorical)

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:37 AM

22. Dick Cheney

Or W.

Dead eyes, wooden affect...

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Response to Demeter (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 06:39 AM

23. as I said

it was a rhetorical question.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:12 AM

24. Looks have everything to do with propaganda

And it's the Tudor propaganda about Richard III, especially Shakespeare's play that everyone thinks of.

The Scoliosis thing is fascinating. Watching the program about it last night it was clear that many in the Richard III society really didn't want him to have this as it would mean that some of the Tudor propaganda had a small bit of truth to it.

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Response to SemperEadem (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:25 PM

35. Take a look at the mean-eyed Henry VII, first of the Tudors.

Mean eyes, mean mouth, and it's worth noting that while there were 29 Plantagenet heirs alive and well in England at the time of Richard's death, all met untimely ends at the hands of Henry VII and Henry VIII. Some were judicially murdered, some simply went into prison and were never seen again.

In their case, what you saw was what you got.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:12 AM

25. Thanks for posting this

I was very curious. I know the photo that showed the skull made me thing it was a pretty elegant skull. High forehead and good proportions. A couple of teeth were missing, but that may have been caused at the time of death.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:41 AM

27. I think he looks a little like Richard Burton myself.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 08:05 AM

29. Fascinating. I know that busts are usually all that's done, but I'd

love to see a full-body reconstruction.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 09:52 AM

30. Full channel4 documentary "Richard III: The King in the Car Park" here:

Posted in Video & Multimedia. It was mentioned in that BBC report and is the source of much of it.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101796597

Or go straight to Channel 4:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/richard-iii-the-king-in-the-car-park/4od#3478419

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:13 AM

31. Like a lot of history, certainty is elusive.

 

Last edited Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:33 AM - Edit history (1)

Like many historical figures, there's much that is unknowable about Richard III. It's also true that the Plantagenets, like other royal families, had venerable histories written about them which they used to fortify claims to not only the English throne, but to that of France too. In fact, persons committed to the redemption of Richard's name can be seduced by idolatry. Take for example one Richard Lawrence, a failed English assassin of President Andrew Jackson who claimed to actually be Richard III.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Lawrence_(failed_assassin)

Even a comparatively long-lived person like Shakespeare is largely unknown to us by his own hand, but that doesn't stop theorists from theorizing or propagandists from propagandizing. There are several weak professional theories about Shakespeare that include the propositions that he never existed or the plays were written by someone using William Shakespeare as a nom de plume because the real Shakespeare was an uneducated rube.

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:23 AM

32. I'm suddenly inspired to do some reading on the man

bearing in mind some of the comments in this thread. Maybe it doesn't matter how he looked but I'll imagine him this way, for the pleasure of it.

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Response to crim son (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 11:38 AM

33. Here's a good article:

 

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Response to crim son (Reply #32)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 07:20 PM

34. Oh, do!

I was inspired by a little book my mother gave me when I was in my teens, Josephine Tey's "The Daughter of Time". It's told in novel form, and is quite short, but it gives you the basis to start from. Many Ricardians began there, and I believe it's still available. (I still have my original copy)

I have three other non-fiction books on Richard, and of all, I would recommend Annette Carson's "Richard III: The Maligned King". It's superbly researched and well-written, and is only a few years old, so it's up to date on late developments. Paul Murray Kendall wrote an excellent book in the 1950s, which I also have, and it's worth reading, but it's been somewhat overtaken by later research.

You must forgive my enthusiasm - I'm a Richard III tragic from way back!

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Response to Matilda (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:19 AM

36. I love his chin!

now to figure out WHAT he was doing in the parking lot in the first place!

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Response to babydollhead (Reply #36)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 11:24 PM

37. Personally, I'm rather fascinated by his mouth.

It looks delicious.

But the chin is very like his brother, Edward IV's, so I guess that's one more validation point.

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