Because it’s his 565th birthday and I’m marking exams about Shakespeare’s version.
Acrylic ink, Micron Pigma and white gel pen. And oh my God, my inking is as bad as I remember it. I’ll have to find some twist to that inking thing if I’m to survive this month.
My fascination with Richard III began when I read Sharon Penman’s “The Sunne in Splendour”. Being German, I had managed to grow up without ever hearing of Richard, and I read the novel (in which Richard was a conscientious, kind and thoughtful man) thinking this was accepted history.
As always after reading about a historical figure, I looked up the real history in a lexicon. (No Internet in 1996.) Boy, was I in for a shock. It was an older lexicon, which took over the Shakespeare version without any hint of doubt.
My curiosity was piqued. I went into the University library and took out everything that they had on the subject (which was a lot), and I didn’t stop until I knew the truth. Well, in this case, I was totally confused.
Richard III taught me a life-changing thing: Truth is a construct. Historical facts are always open to interpretation. The topic intrigued me so strongly that I chose it for my final thesis five year later, and I have been reading Shakespeare’s play with students for about a decade now, introducing them to the joys and pains of the historical digger.
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