questionsdid richard iii kill the princes in the tower,or…

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I now feel woefully uneducated.

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Try the wonderful novel "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Try for an intro.

This part of history can be tough going....when I try to read deeply in that period I get cross-eyed over who is plotting against whom.

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I dunno. The problem is that both Richard and Henry had reasons to do in the princes. Two skeletons were found under a staircase in the Tower, and these are believed to be the missing princes. The problem is that the age range for the skeletons hasn't been pinned down enough to put their deaths unequivocally within the reign of either King.

So, now that they have identified Richard through DNA, they should be able to test the other two skeletons. The princes would share some DNA with their uncle, but not the mitochondrial DNA they used to identify Richard. There must be some relatives of Elizabeth Woodville around with the same mDNA. Then they would need to pin down their precises ages at death.

My pet non(sense)-theory: They were done in by big sis Elizabeth of York so she could marry Henry and be Queen. That, and little brothers are so annoying.

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I believe that Buckingham did the deed - he got mad at Richard, killed the little boys, and defected to Henry's side.

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There have been some interesting articles on Richard III since this story broke. I've learned quite a bit about him and his times. After he died the House of Tudor spent plenty of money on propaganda. The Shakespeare play (what most of us know about him) was based on this. As such, the thought that Richard killed the Princes was part of that.

As noted, Henry had reason to get rid of them as well. One of the things that I did learn was that that period was very brutal: monarchs by necessity had to be ruthless in order to both stay in power and alive. By way of demonstration, look at how he died. The back of his head was more or less taken off by a halberd, there was an arrow in his spine, he had multiple other head wounds, and many other body wounds, probably post mortem, including one in the pelvis. This was explained as "he basically had a sword shoved up his arse."

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I hated history growing up. Anything I learned, I immediately forgot. I didn't even know how many Richards they had, let alone anything they did.

My first exposure to Richard III was the amazing The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman. (Her novelizations of history have caused me to enjoy accidentally learning about the kings and queens of England!) She explained it as a setup. If you enjoy reading, I highly recommend her books, and this one in particular, as a way to make history really come to life.

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@f00l: actually it is easy to know who is plotting, they are all plotting against everyone else. The real question is which person with the same name, and five years difference in age, is which.

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For folks interested in this topic (and history/Shakespeare buffs), this radio program looks promising. It goes on live in Boston (and on numerous other NPR stations) at 10 AM today. It's a lively interview program hosted by Tom Ashbrook, and Tom often incorporates website and/or Facebook comments that catch his (staff's) eye. Later in the day, you can listen online or download the podcast. http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/02/08/richard-iii