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Inside the body of Henry VIII

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lisajjb
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Inside the body of Henry VIII

Post by lisajjb » Fri December 17th, 2010, 4:22 pm

Did anyone see this last Night? Think it was History channel. They discussed his medical history and ailments. One interesting thing they talked about was how his personality changed after the fall from his horse when he was married to Ann Boleyn. They suggested a brain injury as he was unconscious for 2 hours.

Another thing was whether he had a dormant case of syphillus with regards to Catherne of Aragon's pregnancy losses. They concluded no but I have read that theory about him before.

Anyway it was interesting although some was definitely TMI :rolleyes:

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Post by SonjaMarie » Fri December 17th, 2010, 6:32 pm

Where do you live that they showed it?

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lisajjb
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Post by lisajjb » Sat December 18th, 2010, 2:13 pm

Central US.

Biographer Robert Hutchinson was featured.

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Post by Susan » Sat December 18th, 2010, 5:32 pm

I saw this several months ago. It think it may have been on either the National Geographic Channel or the History Channel. I thought the theories about Henry's health were quite interesting, particularly the possible results of the head injury he suffered. If I am remembering correctly, Lucy Worsley, curator of Historical Royal Palaces, was on the show. It was at the same time I had received a copy of her book about Kensington Palace.

Here's an article about the show's jousting accident theory.
The jousting accident that turned Henry VIII into a tyrant
~Susan~
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Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

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Post by cw gortner » Sun December 19th, 2010, 1:53 am

I saw it, and I thought the theory was fascinating, but far-fetched. An accident is a very tidy way of explaining what seems to have been a flawed personality from the start. If we look back over Henry's past before the fall, the seeds of tyranny are there, dormant, waiting for the right triggers to set him off.

There is also a theory that his leg injury was caused by osteomyelitis, which is a tubercular bone infection. Many Tudor persons were latently infected with tuberculosis; a jousting accident might have injured the bone, aggravating the condition into outward manifestation. If so, the pain would have been excruciating and he'd have become quite a monster, without any need for that extra frontal lobe business. His symptomology, as reported, points to osteomyelitis as a very possible candidate for the leg issue. I think it would be so interesting if they exhumed his bones and looked at his skeleton for possible clues.
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Post by annis » Sun December 19th, 2010, 3:57 am

A lot of people felt that Henry turned from shining prince to tyrant much earlier- about the time, with Thomas Cromwell's help, that he determined to divorce Catherine of Aragon, marry Ann Boleyn and become Head of the Church of England. From about that point his own will and desires began to override his concern for the good of his subjects.

Certainly Cardinal Pole thought so and took Henry to task for it in his remarkable De Unitate: “Through slaughter, you have acquired the title Head of the Church. You put your faith in torture and death for anyone who resists your lies”. Among other things Pole said, "All this misfortune, O England, comes from one fact: your King, although he had good advisors, listened instead to evil advisors who whispered in his ear, “All things belong to the King”. If only he had ignored these flatterers and listened instead to those who said, “All things belong to the Commonwealth”

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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun December 19th, 2010, 4:10 am

I think Henry's morals were always very much centered on what pleased Henry at the moment. Most people don't realize that he started his reign by committing judicial murder (executing on trumped-up charges, using the power of the star chamber) of two of his father's most loyal servants--simply because it was a popular move with the people. From there on it was downhill. I think that Katherine of Aragon, that sternly moral character, kept him from sliding very fast while she and her relatives were still important to him, but once her influence was removed, Henry's deterioration picked up steam.

I can't say if it was Katherine's influence that kept him healthy or just good genetics, but once she was out of the picture he became grossly fat. Even then, they knew that eating less and exercising more was the answer to overweight, and that too much of it killed you.

I don't buy the syphilis idea. Henry was very heir-directed when it came to his sexuality, he didn't have very many mistresses, as royals go. And the type of women he chose weren't the sort who picked up what was, at the time, a relatively recent disease.

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Post by LoveHistory » Sun December 19th, 2010, 4:30 pm

I have to agree that Henry was always a selfish person, but a head injury could have exacerbated that. One of my mother's friends was married to a wonderful man who got a nasty blow to the head and his personality completely changed. They ended up getting divorced. If that can happen to a decent person, imagine how much worse the effect would be on a selfish overgrown child of a king.

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Post by annis » Sun December 19th, 2010, 4:59 pm

I agree that brain injury can bring about major personality change and usually for the worse. When he developed a brain tumor, my father turned into another person altogether- a very difficult one to get on with and one prone to sudden irrational impulses.

Although Henry definitely showed the tyrannical side of his nature from much earlier on, I wonder if the sudden way he took against Ann Boleyn could have been a result of his head injury. It always seemed puzzling that he would spend so many years on their relationship only to throw it away quite arbitrarily.

I feel that MLE Has a point about Katherine of Aragon being a mitigating influence on Henry. His behaviour certainly became noticeably worse when he put her aside.

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Post by Margaret » Sun December 19th, 2010, 11:08 pm

Fascinating. This thread is as interesting as the documentary that inspired it!
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