The Furore around Richard III
All this fuss around Richard III fascinates me and has reminded me of all the research I did around Scoliosis of the spine when writing my novel ‘The China Bird’, where my main protagonist Edward also suffered from Scoliosis of the spine. I was very careful not to use the term ‘Hunchback’ and I do wonder how all the people that today suffer from Scoliosis view the fact that the term is being bandied about freely by the press and media.
I wonder if the interest in Richard III would be less if he had been a man with a straight spine. Would the public have bought into the fact that this was Richard III in such a big way if the beauty of his curved spine was not there for us all to see? You may think me odd using the word beauty. I am not trying to underplay how serious a condition scoliosis is but as in my novel I want to explore whether difference need necessarily be seen as being without beauty. Having studied the sculptures of thalidomide sufferer Alison Lapper and of people with scoliosis I feel that there is much beauty to be found in difference.