The Tudors are perhaps one of the most famous dynasties of all time, producing such famous figures as King Henry VIII and his daughters Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. But, as public figures, their bodies and health were not their own. Medical Downfall of the Tudors by Sylvia Barbara Soberton means to delve into their medical history.
Although I am by no means a medical expert, the medical theories brought are fascinating. However, it would have been nice to have delved into some a little bit more, and sometimes the book focussed a little too heavily on the general history of the Tudors, which is not why one would buy this book. I was also a little put off by some of the assumptions being made. For example, Queen Mary I’s illnesses all seem to be written off as somehow psychosomatic, and for some reason, that felt a little unfair. Mary certainly had a difficult time, but this could also have been because of her illnesses rather than being the cause of her illnesses.
Since we are not equipped to make a modern medical diagnosis on any of the Tudors, as we simply do not have enough information, most of the questions we still have will remain unanswered. Nevertheless, Medical Downfall of the Tudors is a fascinating look into the dynasty, and it’s certainly nice to see them from a different angle.