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‘True story’ of Richard III’s rise and fall to be told at landmark conference

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‘True story’ of Richard III’s rise and fall to be told at landmark conference

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities

College Court is bringing together the team that helped uncover Richard III for its first University conference since opening in October 2013, which will cover the astonishing story of Richard III’s rise, fall and excavation.

The Richard III Conference, organised by University of Leicester, will feature talks from the team of experts who located, unearthed and identified Richard III. It comes one year to the month after the announcement of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III by the University of Leicester.

The conference will take place from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 February 2014, kicking off on the Friday with a buffet dinner, drinks and a chance to meet the team.

The conference will then feature keynote talks, on Saturday 22 February, from:

  • Professor Norman Housley of the School of History, who will introduce Richard III and the Wars of the Roses at 9.00am
  • Richard Buckley, Lead Archaeologist at Grey Friars, who will discuss the background to the archaeological dig at 9.30am
  • Mathew Morris, Site Director at Grey Friars, who will discuss the archaeology of the Grey Friars dig at 10.45am
  • Bob Savage, who will give a talk entitled ‘Killed the Boar; Shaved his Head’: The Violent Death of Richard III’ at 12noon

This will be followed by two more talks, on Sunday 23 February, from:

  • Professor Kevin Schürer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and Dr Turi King of the Department of Genetics, who helped identify Richard III from a family descendant and will give the talk “Using genealogy and genetics in the identification of Richard III”, at 10.00am
  • Dr Mary Ann Lund and Dr Sarah Knight of the School of English, who will discuss Richard III and Shakespeare at 11:45am

These will be interspersed with Q&A sessions, allowing visitors to engage with the team and develop their knowledge and understanding of the five-century-story of Richard III.

Richard Buckley, who led the archaeological project and announced the discovery of Richard III, said: “This conference is unique in featuring a full roll-call of people involved in the uncovering the remains—and the true story—of Richard III.

“We hope that this conference will foster a meeting of minds and develop the interdisciplinary approach the University continues to take to the story.

“Richard III’s rise and fall, as well as his discovery, have taken on such mythic dimensions, and elicit such excitement from people, that finding an objective viewpoint can be difficult—and what attendees should be able to draw from the conference is a range of objective accounts from the people who found him, who identified him, and who devote huge amounts of time and energy to researching his life and times.

“We couldn’t have found Richard III without the support of the University’s incredible team of scholars, and so it’s great to be working with them again, and to bring the story, whether that’s our story, Shakespeare’s story, or Richard’s story, to as many people as possible.

“We will also acknowledge, as we always do, the role of the originator of the project, Philippa Langley, without whose passion, vision and determination the project may never have happened, together with the work of John Ashdown-Hill in identifying one of the living descendants of Richard III’s family and David Baldwin who correctly predicted in published work in 1986 that the remains of the last Plantagenet king might be found on the site of the Grey Friary during the 21st century.”

Steve Crawford, Director of College Court, said: “Being part of the University that discovered Richard III, it is with immense pride that we have the opportunity to talk and learn from the experts who were key to finding his remains.

“Although on a far different scale to the importance of discovering a long-lost King, it does seem fitting that the conference with such acclaimed speakers should be held at College Court, which itself has recently been discovered and is starting on its journey as a leading conference centre.

“To be able to visit the battlefield where he died and then hear from the experts that found him, and share in the excitement as science and investigation revealed that a King had been found, is an amazing opportunity and should not be missed.”

The conference will take place from 21—23 February 2014, with prices as follows:

  • Single ticket whole weekend, £245
  • Couple, both attending all talks for the weekend, £344
  • Couple, one attending all talks for the weekend, £294
  • Local tickets (no accommodation), £145

The cost of a ticket includes accommodation at College Court, all meals from Friday evening and including Sunday lunch, unlimited tea and coffee and all trips and talks. Local tickets include both lunches, unlimited coffee and both dinners as well as the talks and trips. This is a residential conference though, as a courtesy, there will be a limited number of non-residential tickets for Leicester residents.

Tickets available from: http://www2.le.ac.uk/conference/richardiii/richard-iii-conference

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.  The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.

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