I’m in favour of a spot of Plantagenet controversy over King Richard’s burial place. It’s good for popular history – and tourism
Who says the Wars of the Roses are over? Five hundred years since the Battle of Bosworth, the Yorkist side is turning in on itself, and the Richard III Society may have finally met its match in the Plantagenet Alliance.
The former, in association with the University of Leicester, kicked off last year’s stunning exhumation of Richard III’s body from a car park in Leicester, and Leicester is where it wants his final resting place to be. Now the latter, consisting of 15 living relatives of the king, say they are planning to use the law to insist he be buried in York instead. You might wonder what they’re all getting so worked up about – and this Richard III business certainly defies all logical explanation.
In strictly scientific terms, there was no point in digging him up. Archaeologists thought he was under the car park – and indeed he was. Historians thought he had curvature of the spine – and it looks like indeed he did.
It was the sensational and emotional impact of the discovery that mattered, and many professional archaeologists and historians – and indeed journalists – found that uncomfortable. Words like “trivialisation” and “stunt” were bandied about, especially after the Channel 4 documentary that dwelt as much on the players as the results.
The editor of History Today, Paul Lay, blames “the pernicious influence of the solipsistic celebrity genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?” for a demand for history to which we can “relate”. Indeed, Plantagenet Alliance members are “relatives” of the king, no less. And no more, either. As he had no children, they can’t claim to be his descendants.
It’s easy to mock the people who straightforwardly project their present concerns on to the past. As a curator, I’ve met endless people who feel a “special connection” with Anne Boleyn, or Victorian prostitutes, or various other unlikely candidates.
It’s easy too, if you look back at the past, to draw connections between people’s barmy obsessions and their own age. The Victorians were very taken with the idea that Henry VIII might have had syphilis, a disease that was central to their own health fears. Today the most modish explanation of the king’s maladies is Kell’s disease. If Henry VIII belonged to the rare Kell positive blood group, he would have found difficulty in fathering more than one child with any Kell-negative woman. The theory matches his reproductive history; but it’s also the perfect solution to have arisen in our own age, when genetics appears to have all the answers.
So I do have some sympathy with the professional historians and archaeologists who roll their eyes at the enthusiasts who stomp around fields on Saturdays in unconvincing costumes, complete with modern eyewear, or cry at archaeological digs. But ultimately if you push me, I’m always going to be on the side of the tearful. There seems to me to be something admirable, indeed noble, about the people arguing over Richard III. They’re doers rather than naysayers, romantics rather than realists, people looking for meaning rather than numbness. And I do wonder what professional historians are beavering away for in their ivory towers, if not to have history become part of the common currency of life.
Of course, it’s fun to point out the inaccuracies or sensationalism or elisions of historical drama, or history designed for public consumption. In another sense, though, it’s self-defeating, because if you constantly deride the offerings of this whole industry that produces what the Americans call “public history”, its customers will slip away to football, or Facebook, and leave us all the poorer.
Even if emotion isn’t your thing, look at the money. Whoever gets the final tomb of Richard III will have a new and possibly profitable tourist attraction on their hands. So I’m all in favour of a spot of Plantagenet controversy. There’s only one thing worse for a subject than being talked about. It’s not being talked about.
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Horizon Lines Moving To Philadelphia
Carrier’s arrival opens new trade connection to Caribbean for regional businesses
PHILADELPHIA, March 7, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Holt Logistics Corp. announced today that Horizon Lines, one of the premier shipping companies servicing the US East Coast and Puerto Rico, will move its Northeast Port of Call to Philadelphia from Elizabeth, N.J. starting in April.
The arrival of Horizon, in a deal first contemplated more than four years ago, provides the Port of Philadelphia with a major new carrier that will provide an outstanding opportunity to expand trade connections between the Greater Philadelphia region, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Company Has Also Entered Into Capped Call Transactions in Connection With the Notes Offering
See the original post: Theravance Announces Pricing of Convertible Subordinated Notes Offering
Shares in French Connection and Thorntons drop after reporting sales data, while electrical retailer Dixons falls on fear of an imminent profit cut.
Read the original post: Retailer shares drop on sales data
Eight people are charged in connection with business loans worth £35m made through a branch of HBOS in Reading.
See more here: Charges in £35m HBOS loans probe
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Jan. 3, 2013) – Further to its news release of November 1, 2012 announcing a private placement to raise up to $3,500,000 through the issuance of common shares, Mahdia Gold Corp. (CNSX:MGD)(the “Company”) announces that it has amended the terms of the private placement. The Company will be offering units at CAD $0.25 per unit, with each unit comprised of one common share and one common share purchase warrant exercisable at $0.40 for a period of 24 months from the closing date. The Company may pay a finder’s fee in connection with a portion of the Offering equal to 8% in cash or securities. There will not be any change of control as a result of the Offering.
Read the original post: Mahdia Gold Corp (CNSX:MGD) Announces Amended Terms of Non-Brokered Private Placement
A village post office could not pay pensions or benefits for 11 days over Christmas after its broadband connection was cut off.
Read more here: VIDEO: Postmistress lends own money
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Dec. 13, 2012) - Oroco Resource Corp. (TSX VENTURE:OCO) (“Oroco” or “the Company“) today announces that it has closed the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement financing (the “Financing”) previously announced by news release dated November 19, 2012. The Company has raised gross proceeds of $654,250 in this first tranche closing through the sale of a total of 3,271,250 units at a price of $0.20 per unit. Each unit consists of one common share and one half of one common share purchase warrant. Each whole share purchase warrant will be exercisable into one additional common share for a period of 18 months at a price of $0.35 per share. The securities issued in connection with this private placement will be subject to a four-month hold period in accordance with applicable Canadian Securities Laws. Finder’s fees of $31,775 have been paid in connection with the closing of the first tranche.
Read the rest here: Oroco Closes First Tranche of Non-Brokered Private Placement