February 4, 2009

How fat was Henry VIII? "He was an absolute monster."

"The Royal Armouries show, Henry VIII: Dressed to Kill, will be built around five complete suits of armour from the Tower... A full suit of armour gives a much better indication of the wearer’s actual size – even though Henry spent fortunes on hiring the finest European armourers, men with a Savile Row tailor’s knack of disguising a paunch. Henry was never the 'fat, boorish king throwing chicken bones over his shoulder' that Charles Laughton embodied on film."


***

"You call this a capon? Look at that! All sauce and no substance, like one of Cromwell's speeches. And just as difficult to swallow."

36 comments:

Bissage said...

I visited the Tower once. I rapped on the front gate out of curiosity and nearly broke my hand, a scientific phenomenon I still struggle to comprehend.

There were too many unsupervised French school children. I did not realize until that day that French school children thrive on a diet of pure sugar.

I found refuge gazing at Henry VIII’s armory for the better part of an hour.

Nice stuff.

It’s good to be the king.

john said...

Well, speaking of English manners, this certainly calls for an visit to Mr. Creosote!

The Drill SGT said...

VIII, not VII

AllenS said...

Little known fact:

Henry VII, ate Henry V and VI.

AllenS said...

Please add an extra I to the three characters in my post.

john said...

He eventually shaped up after he married the widow.

traditionalguy said...

As Breast Blogger to the World, you should have heard of Henry's complaint about his new German bride. Henry said her breasts were monstously big, and poor King Henry really preferred the flat chested English girls of his youth. (Maybe I should take this over to Trooper's blog for freer comment). Some guys are fickle. I wonder how a good cosmetic surgeon could have improved the life expectancy of Mrs Henry VIII?

Ann Althouse said...

Typo corrected. Sorry...

Small breasts were long considered more aristocratic, right? Big breasts were cow-like and peasant-y. That's what I heard. But we're all peasants now, so big breasts it must be.

Bob said...

I got curious and did a Google Image search on rooster testicles. People eat 'em. (Chinese people, I'm guessing, but I could be wrong)

Richard Fagin said...

Thank you for the movie clip, professor. Charles Laughton was just a superb actor.

Ann Althouse said...

After that last comment of mine, someone emailed me this link.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, it's hammy, but Charles Laughton is so entertaining. I love him in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Witness for the Prosecution."

EDH said...

I found the Henry VIII character in the scene played by Charles Laughton to be quite witty.

Maybe the other guests were dining in fear or loathing of what the man was capable of, but otherwise I'd be laughing my ass off.

As for the mess he made in the process of entertaining? No worse than a Gallagher show.

Henry said...

Small breasts were long considered more aristocratic, right?

The ancient Greeks put small penises on their classical statues. Large penisis throw off the proportions.

Ann Althouse said...

"The ancient Greeks put small penises on their classical statues. Large penisis throw off the proportions."

By the same token, porn star guys are all short. (I read that in a book.)

MayBee said...

how a good cosmetic surgeon could have improved the life expectancy of Mrs Henry VIII?

Anne of Cleves lived to a nice age, thanks to her willingness to divorce Henry VIII. As for her quality of life, one suspects no longer being Queen was a small price to pay for not having to bonk Henry for the rest of her years.

Mr. Rimer in the article sounds charmingly protective of Henry VIII.

ricpic said...

I'm 'enery the eigth I am
'enery the eigth I am I am
I'm gettin' married to the widow next door
She's been married seven times before
And every one was an 'enery
'e couldn't be a Willy or a Sam
So I'm 'enery the eigth I am
'enery the eigth I am I am

Love that song.

dannyboy said...

Small breasts were long considered more aristocratic, right? Big breasts were cow-like and peasant-y. That's what I heard. But we're all peasants now, so big breasts it must be.

I've always said more than a moutful is a waste so I'll take small, firm and perky like grapefruits.

On a sour non-grapefruit note: Nice to have a week vacation only to be frickin snowed in. I can't even get to the frickin bar. Global warming my muscular buttocks. If Al Gore were here right now I'd kick him in the fucking balls.

EDH said...

The ancient Greeks put small penises on their classical statues. Large penisis throw off the proportions.

The penises on classical Greek statues were small? Er, I mean, yea, they were small, weren't they.

By the same token, porn star guys are all short. (I read that in a book.)

At least for Ron Jeremy, who extolls Classic Erotica Where Size Matters.

Ann Althouse said...

"I've always said more than a moutful is a waste so I'll take small, firm and perky like grapefruits."

You don't even realize how funny that is. Grapefruit used to be viewed as the size of a large breast. Medium, ideal breasts were described as fitting into champagne glasses. (The kind of champagne glasses people used to use. Not flutes! That would be weird.) Small breasts were really small! It's like no one even remembers small breasts anymore. Time for a comeback.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

You are a notorious breast blogger.

Henry said...

Small breasts were really small! It's like no one even remembers small breasts anymore. Time for a comeback.

What was good for the Pharaohs is good for us.

Oligonicella said...

Maximum enjoyment - 2CMF.

William said...

I read somewhere that the Greeks gave their statues small penises to dramatize the diminished importance of sex in the life of an idealized being. In our era we idealize greater not lesser sexual appetites. Thus the porn stars have big dicks and women pay good money to acquire 38KKK breasts. We want more and bigger is more....Lincoln said his legs were just long enough to reach the ground. The ideal penis size is just long enough to reach the beloved..... I idealize a woman's wish to nurture, and a full round breast seems to actualize that ideal. Nonetheless I have never met a breast that I didn't like. "The many shapes a bright container can contain."

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

Charles Laughton was a fag. His wife knew about it but was ok with it. Loved his wife, who was his real wife, in Witness For The Prosecution-one of my favorite movies. Also, loved Marliene Dietrich in it. I was blown away in the ending when she was the played the skank lady as well.

MayBee said...

Small breasts were really small! It's like no one even remembers small breasts anymore. Time for a comeback.

Kate Hudson is ready for her closeup.

TitusWouldLikeToRecruitU said...

If a man shaves or waxes his hog bush it makes the hog look bigger.

Many guys do this now. You would be surprised at all the young straight gym guys that shave their hog bushes. And yes the ones I am referring to our straight. And I am talking fulling shaved.

traditionalguy said...

Small breasts are more attractive, if the are formed well an in proportion with the small woman they adorn. The large pillowy types are ok to attract strangers from across the room, but the best treats are always the undercover prizes only hinting at what comes next to a male mind. The hunt is programmed into us.

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
Typo corrected. Sorry...

Small breasts were long considered more aristocratic, right? Big breasts were cow-like and peasant-y. That's what I heard. But we're all peasants now, so big breasts it must be.


We really haven't become all peasants. At least, our culture tends to award slender, small-titted, high cheekboned women with the "Official Katherine Hepburn" category of movie stardom. See Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson. And 2 dozen more that usually are accorded roles calling for more active, higher independence, and SMARTER women.

We do sure indeedy like the Hooters Gal model of femininity - but that also presumes they are dumber, more sexually active, less independent and capable of feeding the young'uns for days if the Mastodon Hunt came up short. All fertility goddesses from the Neolithic Cro Magnon carvings up to Sarah Palin must have big tits.

The attraction of the Kate Hepburn types is sex without procreation. Sure, compete away with Spencer Tracy in and off film, but part of the allure in male cavemen minds is the possibility of "fuck 'em and forget 'em".

As for Porn, I understand one "strategy" in their casting is you employ not short men so much as petite women who "magnify" opposing male anatomy to appear larger than life.

Titus gives the sort of valuable insight most men never think of:

Many guys do this now. You would be surprised at all the young straight gym guys that shave their hog bushes. And yes the ones I am referring to our straight. And I am talking fulling shaved.

Oh, great! These things seem to go in cycles. Each generation has their own indigenous culture. Boomers will likely be remembered as pleasure-oriented wastrels that took what the "Greatest Generation" did and gave them as a legacy and the Boomers managed not only to bankrupt themselves, but the country. Now they expect the next two generations to work and impoverish themselves to support old Boomers every need.

The last sight they may see is some male or female nurse with metal in their face and likely a shaved crotch shoving a pillow over their indulgent faces.

traditionalguy said...

Cedarford...Smaller ladies pro-create every bit as well as Dolly Parton types. And FYI the Boomers were not pleasure oriented wastrels. As Dr Zhivago replied to the commisar, we've always worked. The hollywood vision of Hippies everywhere was BS. And the greatest generation abandoned us when they hit 50, and refused to fight anymore for our institutions then under attack by a few young people hypnotised by sex, drugs, and rock and roll.We won the cold war( Viet Nam in country too), raised better parented and better educated kids then ourselves, and also took on segregation and sexism with no help from the previous generation who said we were too soft since we let blacks and women have too much freedom. Don't believe a word of it about us being soft. Think for yourself...we did.

Seneca the Younger said...

We tend to forget that Henry was famous as a Rennaissance man -- athlete, musician (who wrote songs that survive and are performed today), scholar -- as well as king. At his death, it sounds like he was around 6'1" and 300 pounds, and at least before the leg wound the preceded the collapse of his health, he was an energetic man. (The leg wound was suffered in a joust, after all.)

Instead of thinking of him as grossly corpulent, think about one of the "before" pictures of ex-football players in the Nutrisystem ads.

Gloria said...

Funny how, in the Wake of that TV "Tudors" series many people have stated that Henry VIII was sexy-sexy-sexy like the fashionable young man playing the part, and never as fat as Laughton...

Whatever, while young Henry may have been leaner than his older self, but his older self, as portrayed by Holbein, does look quite like Laughton looks in the film.

Oh, and the guy playing Henry in that "Tudors" series has apparently said that he won't gain weight to play older Henry. he probably won't gow a beard either (as Laughton actually did for the film). Possibly in further chapters, Henry shall be played with the jeans and T-Shirts people undoubtedly wore in Tudor times.

Ah! Modern acting!

John said...

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a suit of field armor that was made for Henry VIII sometime before 1527. It is 73" tall, and made for a large man, but certainly not for an absolute monster. However, because he gave it away to a French ambassador in 1527, a reasonable inference is that he had outgrown it by that time (20 years before his death at age 55), which is before the jousting accident that reportedly led to his obesity.

Bissage said...

Oh, Jesus Christ!!!

I almost forgot to mention it!!!

Henry the 8th had ENORMOUS GENITALS!!1!!!1!!!!

Pheeew!

That was close!

What if I hadn't remembered?

* shudder *

Alex said...

Cedarford said...

The last sight they may see is some male or female nurse with metal in their face and likely a shaved crotch shoving a pillow over their indulgent faces.
12:48 PM

*Snort* great image, which will lead us right into Huxley's "Brave New World".

Alex said...

Necro-d.