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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: December ::
Re: Henry VIII
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2306  Tuesday, 11 December 2000

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Monday, 11 Dec 2000 14:09:40 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2277 Re: Henry VIII

[2]     From:   Arthur Lindley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Dec 2000 08:54:16 +0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2293 Re: Henry VIII


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Monday, 11 Dec 2000 14:09:40 -0600
Subject: 11.2277 Re: Henry VIII
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2277 Re: Henry VIII

For those interested in a literate and objective review of the Henry
VIII / syphilis question I recommend the following site:
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Studios/1344/syphilis.html

I'm not sure who produced this. I just went to the Henry VII main page
of which it is a part, thence to the FAQ page, and then to the syphilis
page.

As you will see when you get there, the question is moot. The symptoms
are not inconsistent with teritary syphilis but are still more
consistent with diabetes. Other possible explanations cannot be ruled
out either. The former has a powerful emotional appeal in certain ways,
but that should not cloud rational judgment.

There are others who say just as firmly that that medical evidence
proves the syphilis charge.

To resolve it, we would really need a complete review of the evidence --
which would be primarily an assembly of all the data about what Henry
and his famous ulcerated leg(s) looked like, along with all other
medical facts that are known or assumed to be true, plus all the medical
treatments he was given (some of which, like the lead, could well have
caused the symptoms of insanity that could otherwise be used to support
either the syphilis or the diabetes theory) -- by qualified medical
personnel with experience in translating  early medical reports into
modern terms.

Any volunteers. I'm busy.

Cheers,
Don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Arthur Lindley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 12 Dec 2000 08:54:16 +0800
Subject: 11.2293 Re: Henry VIII
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2293 Re: Henry VIII

Stephanie probably already knows, but I remind her that Ibsen's most
famous treatment of syphilis is in Ghosts, not A Doll House, where the
exact nature of Rank's complaint is considerably blurred.

Judy, does your source indicate how long it took the disease -- like the
Renaissance -- to spread to England?  I have the unresearched impression
that it arrived, or rather was noted to have arrived, only in the 2nd
half of the 16th C. and that the sexual revulsion common in Jacobean
literature may at least partly be related to its presence.

And, by the way, America will have to decline the honour of infecting
Europe.  Columbus's crew would have caught theirs in the W. Indies.

Regards,
Arthur Lindley
 

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