Henry VIII’s weight and health, plus giveaway

Henry_VIII_Fit,_Fat,_Fiction_by_Kyra_Kramer_-_The_Tudor_Society_-_2015-12-18_07.33.21Today, Kyra Kramer, author of the wonderful book Henry VIII’s Health in a Nutshell, is over at our sister site The Tudor Society with a guest article called Henry VIII: Fit, Fact, Fiction in which she discusses Henry’s reputation for being fat and the idea that he had type II diabetes. It’s a very interesting article and there is also a chance to win a paperback copy of Kyra’s book – click here to go to it now.

This is the last stop on Kyra’s book/blog tour and here’s the schedule if you want to enjoy her other article and enter the giveaways:
Here’s the schedule:

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7 thoughts on “Henry VIII’s weight and health, plus giveaway”
  1. I would love to read this book- I have always heard and wondered that it was in part Henry’s health that made him so tyrannical. I think this will be a great read and I can’t wait.

  2. The Tudor history has always been a great interest of mine. If the king developed diabetes that could’ve been the reasons for his leg getting painfully worse. His health and the health of those who came in connect with has been been interesting. I noticed that during that era, his wives life span were short, ( under 60 if I’m correct). To me, this is still young. Yes, I would like to read your book and continue learning more about the Tudors and anyone connected to King Henry V111.

  3. I would like to know more about his mental health. Was it the lack of activity, constant pain and lack of a male heir which made him so (to our standards) cruel and unreasonable or was that always there (i.e. a psychopathic personality) and it was not until he was genuinely thwarted that it emerged?

  4. Obesity does lead to diabetes as well as other ailments so I think it highly likely that Henry did have diabetes, I think it very sad that in his youth he was athletic and it was said could tire out nine horses in one day, both his parents were slim and he was said to have resembled his grandfather Edward 1V who grew quite corpulent as he got older, but Henry grew so obese he had to be hoisted onto his horse and he must have been very very heavy when he died, I find the subject of his mental and physical health really interesting and would love to have the chance to read this book.

    1. While I agree that obesity can lead to a number of health problems, I know a number of obese people without diabetes, with no serious heart or other life limiting problems. Obese is also used to describe people of various sizes, based on out of date body measurements, referring to people who are anything from a few pounds over the body index ratio for their age, height and weight to people who are enormously over weight. In the case of Henry Viii, his later years saw him balloon in weight, to the excess of the heavier end of the scale, he could not exercise as much so he could not burn the high amounts of calories he consumed. He was indeed quite the athlete from his teens until his late fourties, but by the time he was fifty the pounds and inches poured on. Henry could well have had everything from gout and high blood pressure to clogged actuaries, chronic heart disease and breathing problems, walking problems and diabetes, but in some cases, without DNA, bone analyses, we cannot say for certain. He definitely had walking problems, thrombosis, painful joints, bone ulcers, high blood pressure, migraines, bouts of malaria, mood swings, breathing problems, most probably a heart problem, but it is not possible to confirm that he had diabetes. I am confident that Henry had a number of other suggested disabilities as well, but which ones can only be confirmed by DNA or forensic bone and cell analysis. Given where Henry is buried, in Windsor, I don’t believe that access to his body for scientific and osteo archaeological testing. This is the problem of attempting to project medical theories 500 years into the past, without the body or the DNA, all is speculation.

  5. I’ve recently read Alison Weir’s The Lady in the Tower, and am very keen to read this book dealing with Henry’s health….. it is fascinating to think about it and what effects it could have had on his actions, or whether he was basically a cruel man and too used to people trying to please him so that his paranoia took over when he was challenged, such as over the Katharine of Aragon divorce……

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