This week’s animated Newsweek cover, as seen in the iPad app, features a morphing King Richard III—from legend…to reality!
The cover story, written by historian Simon Schama, looks back at the means Richard III used to create his rock-solid center of power and loyalty—that undid him in the end.
A king, one shoulder higher than the other (an armorer’s nightmare), the golden circlet of the crown upon his helmet, is fighting for his life and his throne. Seeing the odds of a victory, which should have been his for the taking, suddenly shorten when his vanguard flounders in marshy ground, he has made a gambler’s throw: a frontal charge at the enemy with a long column of his most loyal knights behind him, meant to smash its way to his rival and kill him. The wet ground has lost him his mount, but he is cutting his way through the bodies with a swinging battle ax. He makes for the standard bearer of the enemy, fells him. Surely, the Welshman, the Tudor who wants his crown, cannot be far behind. Another swing, another knight, much bigger than his own slight frame, goes crashing down in his clanking hardware. Now Richard is within feet of his quarry when it all goes wrong. A presumed ally, his troops held in reserve, perhaps sensing the shift in the day’s fortunes, has thrown in his lot with the enemy and is attacking his rear; his scarlet-coated men throwing themselves into the fray. Everyone, all those men groaning and stumbling and hacking in the soft ground, feels the beginning of the end. Ranks of them close in on the king from whose helm the crown has ominously fallen. Defying everything and everyone, the king swings and flails, is engulfed, and a halberd slices through his helmet and into his brain. He sinks and folds and it is over. It is always finished when the leader of an army loses his life, for these thousands of men, knights and hardened men at arms, archers and gunners (for there were both cannon and harquebuses on Bosworth Field) are not fighting for an idea or a country, but for the person of the king who, in some way they don’t ask themselves, is England.
The chronicles of the late 15th and early 16th centuries have told us this, but those histories were written either by, or to please, the victors. But now we have Richard III’s story as written on his bones: a forensic romance. Not just the deep cleft in his skull where the halberd penetrated the helmet, but the marks of the subsequent indignities and mutilations inflicted on his corpse. It was always known that the new king, Henry Tudor, made sure to expose Richard’s body for either two or three days (sources differ) in Greyfriars Abbey where it was deposited, and it may have been, as one of the histories describes, half-naked, its lower half covered merely by “a poor black cloth”—the ultimate humiliation for a king who had reveled in royal costume. The skeleton shows signs of lunging stab wounds through the right buttock, another targeted indignity and, more mysteriously, the body’s feet are missing. Most dramatically of all, the backbone is curved like the blade of a scythe: the sign of “idiopathic” scoliosis, a condition that would have come upon the prince, Richard, as a boy and which would have thrust one shoulder up high enough for critics during and after his life to jeer at the deformity. Thomas More, whose unfinished biography is the first thrilling work of historical narrative—more a novel than a true history—and Shakespeare, who drew on More, may have been unjust in making Richard a monster, and there is no sign of the withered arm at the center of one of More’s most dramatic and fanciful scenes. But the bones tell us they were right to picture Richard III as deformed, and entirely of their time to imagine what effect this might have on the self-consciousness of a noble steeped in the chivalric literature of manly perfection, and on those many who feared and hated him.
The Return of Ruthless Richard III, Newsweek
has anyone ever had one of their instagram pictures stolen and published in a magazine without permission/renumeration? If yes, what did you do?
I need advice/help/info/insight/anything?
Writing as a (staffer at a) magazine but not a lawyer, our advice is for you to gather together the evidence that proves they stole it and its yours, and then contact a lawyer. The lawyer should know what to do from there. If you don’t want to go that route, you could always send them a sternly-worded letter asking for compensation and/or cease-and-desist from publishing the photo any further. OK good luck!
This week’s Newsweek cover: How ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ predicts the future. The story, by Daniel Klaidman, explores the question: Could the Obama administration someday announce that the “war on terror” is over? Klaidman reports on the growing signs that the administration may be debating when to consider the war “finished.”
It’s a question that President Obama has quietly discussed with his closest advisers. He has raised the issue publicly only in the vaguest terms: when he said, to rousing cheers on election night, that “a decade of war is ending,” it sounded more like a reference to Afghanistan and Iraq than a statement about the war on terror as a whole. Yet behind the scenes, Obama has led a persistent internal conversation about whether America should remain engaged in a permanent, ever-expanding state of war, one that has pushed the limits of the law, stretched dwindling budgets, and at times strained relations with our allies. “This has always been a concern of the President’s,” says a former military adviser to Obama. “He’s uncomfortable with the idea of war without end.” It is still considered politically treacherous for anyone, especially Democrats, to question whether war is the right framework for fighting terrorism. But just as the intelligence and military communities were criticized twelve years ago for having had too much of a “pre-9/11 mentality,” some in the administration have now begun to gingerly ask whether we today have too much of a “post-9/11” mentality. Or, as one adviser to Obama recently put it to me, “Is it time to start winding down the state of emergency?”
caribbeanprep asked: Y U NO Print anymore?
We’ll let our editor answer that one: “I think it was a romantic gamble that there was still life to be had for Newsweek. We felt that for the Daily Beast—such a frisky digital brand—to have a print platform as well would be great. And, actually, that proved to be true. But every piece of the Zeitgeist was against Newsweek, combined with an unfixable infrastructure and a set of challenges that really would have required five years in an up economy to solve.” - Tina Brown to New York. Also? It costs $42 million to print it.
This week’s Newsweek cover: Who was Jesus?
Tina Brown’s marvelous interview with New York’s Michael Kinsley is fully worth a read this morning. It’s the best.
This week’s cover.
Grab your copy in the iPad app—or wait ‘til it’s on newsstands tomorrow morning.
Lil’ TNR sneak peek, eh Dirk? Looking good!
Recalling The Death of Life, 40 Years Ago
Newsweek, December 18, 1972