Click on the above link to see The Telegraph’s coverage of the archaeological discovery that could be the last Plantagenet king of England, vanquished by the future Henry Tudor VII, Richard III. Shakespeare paints an ugly picture of him–literally deformed and evil–but Shakespeare also wrote in the Reformation-Tudor era of Elizabethan England. (It’s a good article with a video, too, so really go read it!)
Little is known about the man who was the last English king to die in battle (at the Battle of Bosworth) especially in the last two years of his life. Public opinion has largely been fashioned by the victorious new dynasty, the Tudors, and literature. Now, the English are asking themselves–assuming it is more conclusively demonstrated that the body found is indeed King Richard III, of course–about whether he should be given a state burial.
Wouldn’t it be nice to ask such questions about American history? We have a great deal of difficulty there. Anything “American” is most definitely well after the medieval era, of which many scholars define as ending in England with Richard III’s death. Given that the English are our progenitors, beginning in the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, we must acknowledge that there is no archaeology of western civilization to be found in our soil before the early modern era.
It kinda makes me jealous.