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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

'Richard III' Study Day Event

10:00 - 16:00
8 March 2014
Avenue Campus Highfield Road Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this event, please email Lifelong Learning Team at .

Event details

We will be holding a one-day cultural event on Saturday 8 March consisting of a series of short talks led by experts from within History at Southampton. This thought provoking and inspiring conference will provide you with the opportunity to learn and engage in discussion about Richard III from academics of international distinction.

Richard reigned for a little over two years (July 1483-August 1485) and yet he is probably one of our most notorious, enigmatic kings. From loyal brother to 'bunch backed toad' to 'the King in the car park', can we really know the real Richard?

The study day will look at Richard from the Shakespearean perspective, the rebellions of his reign, which culminated in the battle of Bosworth, his relationship with the Woodvilles and the significance of the finds at Leicester in 2012. History, literature and medicine will come together in an attempt to uncover the man behind the myth. Questions will be welcomed at the end of each talk and time will be given to discuss the outcomes further at the end of the day.


Dr Lynda Pidgeon: Richard III and the Woodvilles
Who was Richard III and what was his relationship with Queen Elizabeth (the White Queen) and her family the Woodvilles? Was Richard an arch dissembler, hiding his true feelings until the death of his brother left him free to usurp the throne and destroy the Woodvilles?

Dr Mark Edwards:  Richard III's Scoliosis                                                Examination of Richard III's skeleton has shown that he had a scoliosis.  This is a medical condition in which a person's spine is curved from side to side and is a relatively common disorder, affecting up to 3% of individuals.  This talk will provide a background understanding of the form and functions of the spine before the clinical features, diagnosis and potential causes of scoliosis are explored.  The way the condition might affect an individual's lifestyle will also be discussed.

Dr Cheryl Butler: A Game of Thrones
From the Earl under the Flagstones to 17 dead Lancastrians, Southampton played a part in the power struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster. A Portuguese spy, the third priest, a failed rebellion all left their mark on the town and its people as the turbulent reign of Richard III came to its climax; as power changed a new Welsh clique arrived in Southampton taking on positions of influence, but what side would the town be on when a new Richard of York appeared on the scene

Professor Ros King: The citizens are mum': voices of the people in Shakespeare's Richard III
Shakespeare's Richard III  is often considered either as Tudor propaganda or as simply a vehicle for a single star actor. The famous 1985 RSC production in which Antony Sher bounded across the stage on his crutches like a malevolent insect, wearing flamboyant floor length sleeves and (reputedly) ermine lined boots, had everyone else dressed in indistinguishable shades of grey. Yet the play has speaking parts  both for more children and for more queens than any other by Shakespeare, and  a significant cast of unnamed citizens who repeatedly voice their concerns , sometimes by stubbornly keeping silent. This talk will consider the powerful combined effect of all those little-regarded voices.

Bob Woosnam-Savage: ‘Killed the Boar, Shaved His head'; the Violent Death of Richard III
In September 2012 a skeleton was excavated during an archaeological project at the former site of Greyfriars Church in Leicester, England, which lay beneath a local council car park. Part of the projects remit was also to seek out any remains of the grave or tomb of the last Plantagenet king Richard III who had been buried in the choir of the church in August 1485 following his death at the battle of Bosworth. The skeleton, amazingly, bore signs of both scoliosis and, tellingly, the trauma of battle, which might well aid in the identification of the skeleton. In February 2013 it was publicly announced to the world that the skeleton was indeed that of Richard III and that, after nearly 530 years, the remains of the last king of England to die in battle had been successfully identified.


£31 full rate

£21 loyalty rate (Harbour Lights Members, Friends of Parkes, English Teachers Network, university staff and alumni)

£11 discount rate (students/sixth form & college students and those in receipt of income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Council Tax or Housing Benefit)

All prices include lunch and refreshments



Please note that booking is required for attendance of this event.

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