Shaking Shakespeare: Richard III was no hunchback after all

May 30, 2014 6:31 AM

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Shaking Shakespeare: Richard III was no hunchback after all

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - William Shakespeare excoriated Richard III, the last king of England to die in battle more than 500 years ago, with vibrant verbiage: a "foul bunch-back'd toad," "deformed, unfinish'd" and a hunchback so ugly that dogs barked as he passed by.

But the bard seems to have missed the mark, scientists said on Thursday. Their comprehensive analysis of the king's remains, including a 3-D reconstruction of his spine, confirmed that Richard was not really a hunchback but instead suffered from scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine.

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