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A Case For A Psychologist
February 8, 2010
10:33 am
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Claire
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Anne Boleyn Files visitor Jenny has asked me to post her thoughts on Henry's psyche, his background and what could have made him into the monster he was. She wants to get other people's thoughts on her ideas and I thought it would be great to do a communal analysis of Henry's psche here before I put everyone's thoughts together and make an article of it to put on the main site and get other people's thoughts. Here goes…

Henry VIII: A Case for a Psychologist

A  man (Henry VII) of very little means and dubious background, but of great ambition, sees a way to go forward.  He marries the docile daughter of a very good family and through those connections rises high in the business world. 

He is extremely good with money, knows how to use people to make it and how to save it, so financially the company becomes successful. 

The meek wife produces the children he needs to carry on the “family firm”.  The eldest son is educated to eventually take over, the youngest to at least have a good education and know people in the right places and the daughters will be pressurised to marry the right connections to cement alliances. 

All the man’s energies are concentrated on the heir and he even arranges a marriage for the eldest son to a daughter of an extremely powerful and rich family to make him look respectable in the eyes of the world. 

The younger son, who in fact is brighter, more handsome and gregarious is given an extremely good education but spoilt also by the servants and the wife, who has done her duty and now neglected by not an unfaithful husband, but by one who is focused on consolidating his power..   

For the younger son, father is a distant, stern figure, whilst mother is gentle and loving. 

The sisters also prefer the second brother who is full of life and handsome. 
 

So, in general, second son is very happy.  He gets everything he wants, has that charming smile, and also being the son of the boss, never has anyone saying “no” to him.  However, he is jealous of elder brother who will inherit the reigns of the company some day.  And although elder brother’s wife is only 5 or 6 years older than 2nd son, 2nd son has the hots for her. 

But the plans of “mice and men” can always go astray.  Son and heir dies much before his time and so founder of the dynasty is left with a dilemma.  Connections with the powerful family whose daughter had married the deceased could be important for the future, but who knows which way the wind blows in business?  So for the time being, let’s see whether it is worth making the “widow” a  bride again and to the new heir.  But obviously one has to wait and see how the dice falls. 

As mentioned, the new heir has always been entranced by his sister-in-law and would have loved to have married her.  But father, who now takes a tight rein over the son, is edging his bets and for the first time in his life, 2nd son is completely under the influence of father, his lessons and his whims (at which 2nd son secretly bucks ).  Father can see that business is flowing up and down, so makes his son promise to find a get-out clause to the proposed marriage just in case. 

But 7 years later father dies, the new heir inherits the fortune and the power, if not more, of his father. 

The are two immediate problems to address – one of the massive fortune that father had accumulated over the years and never spent on his family and, the proposed marriage. 

The new Boss of the firm decides that there should be a change company name (now H8 and K Limited) and  of policy.  The money is to be spent on his enjoyment and yes, he is going to marry his love.   

As far as the running of the business is concerned, there are a number of minions to cover that so now life could, for the first time be fun.  When one is 18, who cares?  

So for some years, the new company owner enjoys a wonderful life, with his loving wife and “friends”, having wild times. 

But there is also a need for an heir which his wife fails to produce.  She has had a number of miscarriages but does manage to produce a healthy daughter.  However, this young female is not educated to run businesses although she is a nice enough child. 

Also wifie is beginning to become extremely serious and the fun is going out of the marriage and husband’s eyes begin to cast around in other directions for a younger, semi-permanent, model, to at least get rid of his sexual frustration and with whom he can have a good time.  Mild wifie just turns a blind eye as she had seen her father do the same thing to her very strong mother who had ignored the other ladies as if they didn’t exist. 

However, a new female employee is taken on.  Ms. Boleyn isn’t the typical beautiful woman, but she has style, elegance, wit and really on form.  Boss fancies a “quick one” with her, but she is aware of consequences of a short-term relationship and refuses.  Boss is agog – This is the first time for years that anyone – man or woman has said “no” to him and whilst, not happy about the situation, begins to find the whole thing intriguing.  The question is, how does he get the girl? 

He tries everything to no avail – She still rejects his advances and what makes it worse, she seems surrounded by bright, younger men than him, and the jealousy begins to gnaw at him.  He discovers that she is very close to one of the younger directors of the firm and has the intention of marrying him.  So using one of his minions, it is arranged to have the young swain, fired, leaving, what he thinks, the situation open to him. 

She still isn’t interested in his advances and in a fit of pique, he also fires her. 

However, the rejection not only angers, but also attracts him and the young lady is invited to join the business again.  Yet still she still insists on her former stance saying that in no way would she be accused of sleeping with the boss to enhance her position.  The only way she would succumb was by being his legal partner (i.e wife) but the problem is that he already has one. 

What a quandary to be in.  So Boss looks back on his marriage of some 20 years and realises that wife no. 1 is getting old and haggard, is past child bearing age, and, in fact is not at all attractive to him these days.  He doesn’t realise that he himself is beginning to physically go to pot as well. 

Well, as Wife no. 1 has never criticised him before  he thinks he will have a “heart to heart” chat and tell her that it is time to move on.  He needs a male heir which she can’t give but he is willing to be flexible, get an annulment/divorce on generous terms if she is prepared to go ahead. – but she continues to insist on her rights as legal wife. 

Since Boss never has had problems before in getting his own way and has always used his sometimes “dodgy” lawyers to get him out of situations – to those he goes  in order to discover the “loopholes” to get round this particular one. 

And whilst he had some upright people still working for him, they were a lot of shady characters as well who could see various ways of getting him out of this one. 

There are two international companies, one called “Vatican Incorporated” run by a Mr. Pope whose business used to be very solid but the stock markets are showing that it is having problems – and  an expanding one “Hapsburg Inc.” run by his wife’s nephew , Mr. Charles Hapsburg. Both companies who have financial interests in England are against the idea of any divorce.  Wife’s nephew, also does a “coup” by temporarily taking over Mr. Pope’s business”, so things are at stalemate. 

So what is left is to “harry” wife no 1 into agreeing with his ideas but he doesn’t realise how stubborn she can be.  He tries everything without success, so he back to his “dodgy” lawyers who come up with a brilliant solution.  Okay – close the franchises and you become overall boss so you call tell Mr. Pope and Mr. Charles Hapsburg to” sod off “ legally. 

So he goes to court, bribes the judges, and despite any protests on behalf of Wife No.1 and daughter, the marriage is dissolved and both are sent away virtually penniless.. 

Time to again approach Ms. Boleyn and offer her a deal.  Okay I’ll give you 50% of the business and power if you marry me.  Only, condition is I want a son and heir.  Canny Ms. Boleyn weighs up the pros and cons.  He definitely is not her cup of tea but she knows of his influence.  As she had been upset that he’s got rid of an “ex”  of hers and is capable of a lot more, the idea of having 50% in the business plus the power, is not a bad deal and at her age she must be able to go through the motions and get a least a couple of “brats” with him. 

A board meeting is called to explain the changes in the “status quo” The original Mrs. Boss has retired due to stress, the company is to be renamed (for tax reasons)  “HA HA Limited” , Mr. Wolsey has resigned as Managing director to be replaced by Ms. Boleyn and all dealings with “Vatican Incorporated” and Hapsburg Inc.” have been curtailed. This news is given out on a “take it or leave it “ basis.  However, strange things happen to objecting directors.   One happens to fall sick and die on a journey – others, after being “Mickey Finned” at a company cocktail party commit “Hari Kari” whilst others just do themselves in leaving Mr. Boss and Ms. Boleyn to announce that the company has been cleared of all  unsavoury employees. 

However, in the “garden of business” things are not looking so rosy.  Heavy personal expenditure over the past 20 years or so, plus lack of confidence in the new company name lead to shares falling and the Stock market giving the company  the thumbs down. 

So, off to see, the newly promoted financial and legal director, Mr. Thomas Cromwell who gets it in one.  Vatican Incorporated and Hapsburg Inc. are foreign business so lets freeze their assets or, better still impounds the.  Loads of dosh for  the taking legally.   

But after not so long the once cool Mrs. HA HA (known also as Mrs. H8 – Two) is beginning to sweat.  After suffering at the hands of greasy hubbie, she manages to produce only a living daughter which is not good news for her AND, in addition spouses eyes are wandering again and he is also thinking of revamping the business and not including her. 

They row constantly over company policy as well as his extra marital activities but he reminds her that he dragged her up from a lowly secretary so he can also throw her back from where she came from. 

The ex Ms. Boleyn is petrified – If he could do it to Charlie’s aunt without any qualms, what could he do to her and her mates? 

But for Mr. Boss, come in Mr. Cromwell who has sorted out problems before but, remember this time, Mr. Boss wants to also become “President for Life” without having to refer to company board member………

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

February 8, 2010
11:36 am
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Hannah
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I'm sorry, I don't wish to appear rude or to rain on anyone's parade. However, you cannot psychoanalyse a man who lived five-hundred years ago. The mindset of these people is so radically different from our own that, no, we'll never “understand” them.

I understand the temptation to analyse people like Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, however, it can only be done with modern techniques, and through modern eyes and that inevitably warps these people's actions.

However, to respond directly to what is posted above and the business analogy. It seems nothing more than a gross, over-simplification of Henry VIII and the times in which he lived. For a start, Henry was ten years old when Arthur died, so I don't know how “jealous” he was of Arthur and Katherine's marraige at that age!

Henry spent a traumatic period of his childhood locked up in the Tower of London while his father stamped out the final rebellions related to the dynastic wars that had torn England apart for a century. Henry's need for a son stemmed from these dynastic wars, and the onus was on Henry alone, to ensure that his crown was passed smoothly down to his successor on his death. The example above, made Henry's need for an heir seem like nothing more than a personal vanity project. As for Mary. Well, what the analogy totally fails to take into account, is that England had only ever had one female heir to the throne before, and that was Empress Mathilda, and her succession caused yet another Civil War (her opponent, King Stephen eventually winning the day). Unfortunately Henry (lacking psychic ability), wasn't to know that his glorious successor would be a woman. He only had the sorry example of Mathilda to go by.

Given the real circumstances surrounding Henry's succession, and the fractured family he sprang from; is it any wonder he shed a lot of blood in the short term, in order to spare blood in the long term? The way he probably saw it, was that he needed to stamp out the opposition, before the opposition stamped him out.

Now, for the split with Rome. Small, failing dynastic houses and been dissolved since the reign of Henry V. Also, around the same time, the Lollard movement had begun to draw attention to abuses of power within the established Church of Rome. Although it was Martin Luther who finally ignited the spark that led to full reformation, the beginnings of the Reformation can be traced back much earlier. So again, we cannot just simplify this momentous event to just one disagreement that Henry had had with the pope. It was sweeping through whole swathes of Europe, and would in all likelihood, have arrived in England at one point or another. The abuses of the Clergy could not go unchecked indefiantely.

Also, with the Rennaissance movement sweeping throughout the whole of Europe, times were changing fast. Not just in an artistic, cultural sense. But politically, socially and culturally speaking as well. Society as a whole was undergoing sweeping, radical changes.

In short. No snappy, modern soundbite style analysis can ever do justice to these incredibly turbulent times. Perhaps if Henry VIII himself were here himself, stretched out on a psychiatrists couch, maybe then we could psychoanalyse and pass judgement on his actions.

God i've been harping on for ages. I do apologise, but I get so upset when people talk like this about Henry VIII.

Be daly prove you shalle me fynde,nTo be to you bothe lovyng and kynde,

February 8, 2010
1:30 pm
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Claire
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Hi Hannah,

I think you must have misunderstood Jenny's intentions – she is not a psychologist and I think it was a bit of fun and an attempt to provoke an interesting debate and that is what this forum is about. I also want people to feel free to post whatever they wish (within reason!) without feeling that they're going to be criticised or shot down in flames. Jenny was not trying to upset anyone.

I completely agree with you about viewing Henry through our modern eyes and obviously Tudor times were completely different and we can't begin to understand the pressures he was under, but I do wonder if people have really changed deep down.

Thanks for all your ideas concerning Henry's background – he had a rather interesting life didn't he?!

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

February 8, 2010
3:23 pm
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Hannah
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Ooh I'm sorry!Embarassed I thought that this was an actual study. That just makes my pschotic babbling even worse lol!Surprised

Be daly prove you shalle me fynde,nTo be to you bothe lovyng and kynde,

February 9, 2010
1:15 am
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Claire
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I enjoyed your “psychotic babbling”! I find anything to do with Henry, his mind and behaviour really fascinating. By the way, there's an interesting article at http://www.independent.co.uk/n…..70421.html about whether Henry's head injury actually caused his personality changes. What do you think?

Here are some quotes from the article:-

After the accident – just before he became estranged from the second of his six wives, Anne Boleyn – the king, once sporty and generous, became cruel, vicious and paranoid, his subjects began talking about him in a new way, and the turnover of his wives speeded up.

But the jousting accident may have affected his whole personality, the experts suggest. “We posit that his jousting accident of 1536 provides the explanation for his personality change from sporty, promising, generous young prince, to cruel, paranoid and vicious tyrant,” Lucy Worsley says. “From that date the turnover of the wives really speeds up, and people begin to talk about him in quite a new and negative way. “After the accident he was unconscious for two hours; even five minutes of unconsciousness is considered to be a major trauma today.” Henry may have suffered a brain injury, Dr Worsley says. “Damage to the frontal lobe of the brain can perfectly well result in personality change.”

I'd love to read this report in full so if anyone knows where you can find it then please let me know.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

February 9, 2010
7:45 am
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xkellyx
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I loved the idea of using the metaphor of a buisness to explain Henry VIII, very creative, something I could definitely see a Primary or Secondary School child finding interesting when learning about him!

Claire I put that passage into google and it come up with this http://www.lucyworsley.com/…/the-independent-article-about-inside-the-body-of-henry-viii

I have no idea if this is what your looking for so sorry if its not.

February 9, 2010
9:28 am
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Jenny
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Dear Hannah,

I am sorry but I had not intention to offend.  I do understand that metalities change over centuries, but there are some that remain the same.  I also am aware of the other points within Henry's history but I don't have my info. to hand when I write – I have one computer and that is in my office.  My idea was to point out that History cannot be boring and should be offered to everyone on whatever level they can see it.  This attempt was to bring the subject to the general public and, yes, attract criticisms as well.  My business does not allow me the time to go into depths in writing.

Wirral – Thank you for your comments – that is really what I was aiming for – to at least attract people who know nothing and then they can do their own research.

With regards to the jousting accident, I am sure that it happened after Catherine of Arrogance, Wolsey and Thomas More were despatched so I cannot see how that would have affected his earlier actions.

February 9, 2010
11:18 am
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Jenny, you have a point about the jousting accident being after he'd turned on Katharine, Wolsey and More. Maybe it just exacerbated an already unstable personality? I'm not sure unstable is the exact word I'm looking for. What's a word that means spoiled, arrogant, hot-tempered, with a Madonna/whore complex and a really nasty viciousness to anyone who gets in the way of what he wants? And then add to that a possible head injury, chronic pain from the leg that wouldn't heal, possible diabetes, and an enormous persecution complex with the power to punish those he sees as persecuting him. Yeowch. I'd be finding excuses to stay away from court as much as possible (maybe a nice long vacation on the European mainland).

(Jenny – was the 'nickname' for Katharine intentional, or a typo?)

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          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

February 10, 2010
8:00 am
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Jenny
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Hi US midwest – The original name for Jennifer derived from the Wesh name “Guinevere”, the wife of KIng Arthur so I can see what you are saying.  H7,  being of Welsh (and French) descent I feel wanted to open up  new “golden age” so possibly the “nickname” jenny dervied from that.  As I live in Spain and speak thelanguage, it is very strange that teh word “Ginebra” means the city of Geneva in Switzerland, the famous wife of the orignal Arthur and Gin!!!!!!

I did mention on a visit that the Society of Arthur in Worcester, England, my birth place is convinved that H7 had his son poisoned as Arthur was quite a weakling.  This has been thrown out by people such as David Starkey and there are  theories as to why Arthur was buried in Worcester and not at Westminster.  Worcester, howver, in the Middle ges was an important City with a huge river and very close to the Welsh borders.

Yes, as Hannah pointed out, there are a number of things I didn't mention in my lunchtime “story”  but I do feel that so many people do feel “History” is a boring subject such as “Law” both of which I find fascinating but to capture interest, sometimes one has to put over both in a way that people, not in the know (or don't want to be) understand.

I have to mention here “Historic Royal Palaces” in England which are not funded by anyone and those include amonst others, the Tower of London and Hampton Court.  They have to charge, are a resgitered Charity for upkeep but do a brilliant job by using actors, etc. to bring the times alive.   I know some of the people involved, have great admiration for themand what the are trying to achieve.

Claire, maybe for 2011, we could include visits to both places as well?

February 10, 2010
1:58 pm
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Claire
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I wonder if Carolyn/Impish meant the nickname “wifie” which is what you call Katherine – not sure! Wifie is a bit of an English-ism (is that even a word?!). I love your case on Henry, you've done a great job. Do you think his ideal wife was a mixture of Elizabeth of York, Margaret Beaufort and whore?? Perhaps that's why nobody actually pleased him 100%!

I'm just beginning to jot down ideas for 2011 and I don't think we can do an Anne Boleyn tour without doing the Tower and HCP – both have been very helpful this year with our booking and I'm so looking forward to looking round them with other Anne fans – think I'll need to take some tissues with us on the 19th though!!

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

February 11, 2010
2:40 am
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Jenny
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Jerry Hall once said about her relationship with Mick Jagger “my mother said it was simple to keep a man – You must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.”  I have heard similar quotes including being a mother to everyone, but can't remember where they came from.

On another note, I can highly recommend visits both the the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace.  What HRP has done is to make them alive to the public – For example over Chrsitmas 2009 they had an actor as Edward I with a Spanish actress as his wife, Eleanor of Castille presideing over entertainments – AND they did a lot last year for H8s anniversay – stating off with “The Pin-UP” Prince and “Catherine in Love” onwards.

June 9, 2010
12:02 am
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Impish_Impulse
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“Jenny – was the 'nickname' for Katharine intentional, or a typo?”

“I wonder if Carolyn/Impish meant the nickname “wifie” which is what you call Katherine – not sure!”
Sorry I'm answering this so late, but I wasn't referring to Jenny's original post. I was referring to the one above my own, where she made reference to “Catherine of Arrogance”.

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               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

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