Richard III Was an Evil Hunchback
In William Shakespeare's classic play "Richard III," the bard conjured up one of the juiciest villains this side of the Joker. Not only was Shakespeare's Richard III a murderous usurper of the English throne — he smothered his two young nephews next in line for succession — but he was also a hunchback.
Shakespeare's fictional take on the real-life king was borrowed heavily from quasi-historical accounts written by the Tudors, the rival dynasty that stole back the throne and killed off Richard III in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth [source: Richard III Society]. During his brief 26 months on the throne, Richard III proved a capable and just leader, but his subjects never really got over the whole "double child homicide" thing and his reputation was sealed as a colossal jerk [source: Jones].
But was he really a hunchback? After years of searching for Richard III's lost remains near the historical site of the Battle of Bosworth, his fully intact skeleton was miraculously discovered under a parking lot in 2012 [source: Richard III Society]. Richard III's spine was unmistakably curved, but further testing revealed that the cause was a bad case of scoliosis, rather than kyphosis, the medical term for having a hunchback [source: University of Leicester].