Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Henry VIII - emotionaly dependent upon women

From the Telegraph:
"Unlike most early modern princes the Tudor monarch was brought up in a feminine household and was almost certainly taught to write by his mother, analysis shows.

This upbringing shaped Henry's "emotionally incontinent" personality, leading him to fall and love with – and marry – so many women, Starkey claims.

Starkey, a Tudor specialist who has presented several television series about English monarchs, has curated a new exhibition at the British Library where examples of the king's handwriting will go on show.

Henry's square, laboured letters bear a strong resemblance to those of his mother Elizabeth of York and sister Mary, but are different to the styles of his tutors and advisers, including Sir Thomas More.

The young prince was raised by his mother from the age of 11 following the death of his father Henry VII in 1509, and surviving papers indicate that she was the strongest influence on his education and personality, according to Starkey.

"Henry's handwriting shows how very close he was to females in his youth," he said.

"He was the only boy and became emotionally dependent on women. Or, to put it more bluntly, he was emotionally incontinent."

He added: "He could never be without women in his life and was always falling in love. He also married, at least when it comes to most of his six wives, for love. It is just that he would also fall out of love."

Starkey is updating his biography of Henry to reflect the new research. Henry VIII: Man and Monarch, opens at the British Library on April 23."

Just a quick note: Henry VIII's mother, Elizabeth of York died in 1503 giving birth to a daughter, Katherine - six years before the death of his father, Henry VII. So this theory is a little moot.


Jackie Hodson said...

Hi Melisende
Loving your blog and just had to comment on this post. There is a theory that some men always look for the image of their mother in the women they love. And when any woman falls short of this ideal, they run. Or chop off their heads.
Very interesting. Henry is seen as such a man's man!!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Henry the VIII, here's a demotivational poster I just made in regards to his treatment of his first wife:

sharonmx5 said...

I read and enjoy your blog.

Regarding this piece I always believed Henry VII's queen, Elizabeth of York predeceased him in childbirth.

Anonymous said...

Henry VIII's mother Elizabeth died in childbirth, and his father outlived her, so how could she have raised him after his father died?