The Lost King – following your passion, trusting your guidance, and don’t judge a book by its cover

About a decade ago, Philippa Langley found the grave of Richard III. And there is a lot to this story I find fascinating.

She has CFS/ME, like me. And she found a way to still do what she loved and was guided to do.

She followed her passion, which – when done with some discernment – can lead to a deeply fulfilling life.

She followed, trusted, and followed up on her inner guidance. (She sensed where his grave was. Trusted it because it fitted what she knew from history and guidance from sympathetic historians. Followed through by raising money and asking the archaeologists to dig out a skeleton they found there. And found Richard III.)

She wanted to redeem someone vilified by history, and she went against the agreed-upon view of most historians. (Richard III was vilified by the following Tudors, and most historians took their presentation of him as accurate, even if it goes against contemporary accounts of him.) She showed kindness, even if it was for someone who lived several hundred years ago, and she had the courage to stand for what made sense to her.

The story is a reminder of an unfortunate tendency in our culture (or humanity), and that is to judge a book by its cover. Many stories, including the Tudor and Shakespearian story of Richard III, equates a physical distortion or unattractiveness with psychological distortion or unattractiveness. That’s obviously not how life is. And it’s unfortunate that some contemporary movies and books still use this lazy and outdated association. Why is this seen as OK when sexism and bigotry are not? They all fall into the same category. They are false equivalences that hurt people.

I saw The Lost King a few days ago, which is a fiction movie based on this story, and I thought it was an enjoyable watch.


Lost king 

  • Enjoyed the story since it was in the news about a decade ago, and enjoyed watching the movie
  • Two things stand out to me
    • Intuition, inner knowing 
    • How even academics, whose job it is to be curious, open-minded, question everything, and be intellectually honest, sometimes is far from that (eg those who adopted the Tudor view on Richard iii, obviously propaganda created by his enemies) 
  • Royalty – phase in history, but don’t need to buy into idolizing it, 

I have been fascinated by the story of Philippa Langley finding Richard III’s grave since I first was in the news about a decade ago. She somehow intuited where he was buried, was able to raise the money for excavation, and found his skeleton exactly where she thought it would be.

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