AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: If you only know Richard III from Shakespeare's play, you know the 15th century king as a scheming, murderous hunchback. But as Philip Reeves mentioned, among the historians involved in identifying his remains, are people who believe Richard wasn't such a villain. This debate has carried on for centuries in Britain.
John Ashdown-Hill is a historian and member of the Richard III Society. John, welcome to the program.
JOHN ASHDOWN-HILL: Thank you.
CORNISH: Now, remind us just how bad a reputation has Richard III of come to have.
ASHDOWN-HILL: He's got a pretty bad reputation. He's seen as a deformed person, dark skinned, dark hair, small - rather like a spider. Being dark and being deformed in the 16th century were thought to be signs of evil, evil character. And he is supposed to have murdered his way to the throne, having spent all his life plotting to make himself king.
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