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Jane Seymour's C section?

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EC2
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Jane Seymour's C section?

Postby EC2 » Mon July 19th, 2010, 8:24 am

I'm reading The Death of Kings by Michael Evans and have been somewhat surprised in his chapter on the death of queens to come across a statement that Jane Seymour had a caesarian delivery. I always thought she died several days later of childbed fever or from complications attached to the birth. But a C section? I know that women were cut open as they expired in order to try and save a child when the birth went wrong, but I've never heard this one before in relation to Jane Seymour.
Anyone?
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LoveHistory
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Postby LoveHistory » Mon July 19th, 2010, 11:37 am

Never heard of that either. Seems like given the lack of medical knowledge at the time, if they had performed a C-section, she would have died much faster than she did, from the resulting peritonitis.

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Susan
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Postby Susan » Mon July 19th, 2010, 12:19 pm

I have read this before in several places one of which must have been "The Death of Kings." I googled "Jane Seymour" +"cesarean section" and found quite a number of sites. Most agree with what LoveHistory has said. One site summed up things quite nicely: http://tudorswiki.sho.com/page/Jane+Seymour+Controversies

Having had two cesarean sections, I can say that this is surgery that requires a long recovery period and can have some complications, even today. If Jane had had this surgery she would have died almost immediately.
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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Mon July 19th, 2010, 3:06 pm

I had heard that before as well and am aware of at least one fiction book on Jane that includes the c-section.

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Helen_Davis
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Postby Helen_Davis » Mon July 19th, 2010, 3:16 pm

"Tanzanite" wrote:I had heard that before as well and am aware of at least one fiction book on Jane that includes the c-section.


Which one was that?
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Postby Carla » Tue July 20th, 2010, 2:37 pm

"EC2" wrote:I'm reading The Death of Kings by Michael Evans and have been somewhat surprised in his chapter on the death of queens to come across a statement that Jane Seymour had a caesarian delivery. I always thought she died several days later of childbed fever or from complications attached to the birth. But a C section? I know that women were cut open as they expired in order to try and save a child when the birth went wrong, but I've never heard this one before in relation to Jane Seymour.
Anyone?


Antonia Fraser discusses the Caesarean section story in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (pages 277 - 280 of the paperback edition). She says the tradition about the Caesarean section is preserved in a ballad called The Death of Queen Jane recorded in the 19th century. She doesn't say how old the ballad itself was supposed to be; I would guess it isn't known. She points out that the story can't be true, since Jane Seymour received guests after the baby's christening three days after the birth, which is at the least extremely unlikely in a woman who had recently undergone major surgery. Also, she says there is no mention of an operation in the detailed official accounts of the birth. She says that Jane fell ill with puerperal fever about a week after the birth, became progressively worse and died on 24 October, 12 days after the birth.

Does Michael Evans quote a source or any evidence for his statement? If not, I'd be wary of the rest of the book if this is representative.
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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Tue July 20th, 2010, 2:43 pm

"Andromeda_Organa" wrote:Which one was that?


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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Tue July 20th, 2010, 4:32 pm

"Carla" wrote:Antonia Fraser discusses the Caesarean section story in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (pages 277 - 280 of the paperback edition). She says the tradition about the Caesarean section is preserved in a ballad called The Death of Queen Jane recorded in the 19th century. She doesn't say how old the ballad itself was supposed to be; I would guess it isn't known. She points out that the story can't be true, since Jane Seymour received guests after the baby's christening three days after the birth, which is at the least extremely unlikely in a woman who had recently undergone major surgery. Also, she says there is no mention of an operation in the detailed official accounts of the birth. She says that Jane fell ill with puerperal fever about a week after the birth, became progressively worse and died on 24 October, 12 days after the birth.

Does Michael Evans quote a source or any evidence for his statement? If not, I'd be wary of the rest of the book if this is representative.


Thanks Carla,
I'd suspected that the ballad was the source, and therefore highly unlikely. Michael Evans gives no source and states the C section as fact. I have taken the book back to the library this morning having found several other suspect statements and information. I thought it would be more grounded and scholarly than it is, but at least I hadn't forked out good money for it. I so wish that historians would do their research - never mind the novelists!
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

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parthianbow
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Postby parthianbow » Tue July 20th, 2010, 4:56 pm

"EC2" wrote: I so wish that historians would do their research - never mind the novelists!


Me too. And scriptwriters. When Morgan Freeman uttered the immortal line (about C. sections), 'I have seen it done many times before, on horses.' in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, I screamed at the screen, frightening the other cinema goers. As anyone who looks into such surgery on our equine friends knows, the chances of success i.e. the mare surviving, in a modern, sterile operating theatre, rest somewhere below the category of 'unlikely' to 'not a chance'. What would they have been in Baghdad, 1000 years ago? :mad:
Last edited by parthianbow on Tue July 20th, 2010, 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: error
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Postby Carla » Tue July 20th, 2010, 4:56 pm

"EC2" wrote:Thanks Carla,
I'd suspected that the ballad was the source, and therefore highly unlikely. Michael Evans gives no source and states the C section as fact. I have taken the book back to the library this morning having found several other suspect statements and information. I thought it would be more grounded and scholarly than it is, but at least I hadn't forked out good money for it. I so wish that historians would do their research - never mind the novelists!


Seconded! Sometimes when the evidence is scanty or contradictory a certain amount of interpretation / inference or even downright speculation is needed to try to make some sense of it, but passing speculation off as fact is not fair on the reader.

I have become rather cautious about 'non-fiction'. A lot of people say 'don't trust stuff on the web', which is fine, but it seems one can't necessarily trust books either - as this one shows. My rule of thumb is to look at the references, whether it's a book or a website, and to give more credibility to writers who state their sources clearly, regardless of the medium.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria

Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009

Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords

Website: http://www.carlanayland.org

Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com


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