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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: December ::
Re: Henry VIII
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2277  Friday, 8 December 2000

[1]     From:   Edward Pixley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 07 Dec 2000 12:37:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2262 Re: Henry VIII

[2]     From:   Thomas Larque <
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        Date:   Thursday, 7 Dec 2000 22:27:04 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2243 Henry VIII bio?

[3]     From:   K. Hilberdink-Sakamoto <
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        Date:   Friday, 08 Dec 2000 17:38:12 +0900
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2262 Re: Henry VIII


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Edward Pixley <
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Date:           Thursday, 07 Dec 2000 12:37:07 -0500
Subject: 11.2262 Re: Henry VIII
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2262 Re: Henry VIII

> The film version of "A Man for All Seasons" states at the end that Henry
> died of syphilis. This is perhaps where you heard rather than read it.

I remember hearing it as an anecdotal aside from my professor of English
History in college, a course which I took in 1957.  Since Bolt's play
was copywrited in 1960, the rumor definitely precedes the play.  As I
recall, the demise of the Tudor monarchy was attributed to Henry's
indiscretions and the disease that had been brought back from the
Americas by the explorers.  This is the sort of information that one
doesn't soon forget when picked up in a religious midwestern school in
the 1950s.

Ed Pixley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Larque <
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Date:           Thursday, 7 Dec 2000 22:27:04 -0000
Subject: 11.2243 Henry VIII bio?
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2243 Henry VIII bio?

Frederick Chamberlain's "The Private Character of Henry VIII" (1932)
might not be the most up to date source, but he includes a detailed
chapter on "Medical Experts on the Medical Record" (pp. 268-276).  The
medical experts that he consulted generally concluded that Henry
probably did *not* have syphilis.

Thomas.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           K. Hilberdink-Sakamoto <
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 >
Date:           Friday, 08 Dec 2000 17:38:12 +0900
Subject: 11.2262 Re: Henry VIII
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2262 Re: Henry VIII

I have not seen the film you are mentioning, and I did read it
somewhere! I should think it is in Fernando Henriques' *Prostitution and
Society, II: Prostitution in Europe and the New World*  (London:
MacGibbon & Kee, 1963).  Describing Henry's 1546 decree by which the
London stews were banned, Henriques states that the King was suffering
from 'syphilitic disease', if I remember the phrasing correctly, which
killed him the following year.  I tried to find something to back up
this information, of no avail.  I discussed this with my then
supervisor, Dr. Tom Matheson of the Shakespeare Institute, and I recall
he said it was just a speculation.  Mystery continues  . . .
 

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