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On Richard III’s Body and the Car Park | Early Modern and Open Access

By December 27, 2015 No Comments

This is part of a weekly series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.

Citation and Link:

Jonathan Hsy, Distemporality: Richard III’s Body and the Car Park,” Upstart: A Journal of Renaissance Studies (2013)

Opening Lines (in lieu of an abstract):

My contribution to this Upstart forum on Richard III began its life as a posting on the collaborative websiteIn the Middle (6 February 2013).1 I composed the entry soon after researchers announced their findings that DNA most likely confirmed skeletal remains unearthed beneath a Leicester car park (parking lot) were those of medieval English monarch Richard III. This king is commonly imagined in the popular imagination (via Shakespeare and other sources) as villain with a deformed body, and the curved spine of the skeleton — among other features — seems to confirm the identification. In this venue, I consider how this “moment of discovery” offers the prospect of renewed, non-Shakespearean reference points for discussing Richard III and making sense of this figure’s curious existence across time. That is, I am not so much concerned about what the physical form of Richard III’s body might reveal about the king himself; instead, I consider how the contemporary discovery of the body itself provokes us to think more critically about discursive and conceptual movements through time. What role does Richard III continue to play for us simultaneously as a historical medieval king, a particular early modern (i.e., Shakespearean) representation, and a modern cultural icon?


Author Lindsay

Lindsay Ann Reid is a regular contributor to The Scrivener and Early Modern and Open Access. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is a Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

More posts by Lindsay

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