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aliceanne
03-28-2011, 08:55 PM
Yes, I've heard it too. They did it so that once they get full, they could purge and start eating/drinking all over again. :scream:


This I haven't heard. Where is your information coming from?

Well it has been commonly circulated that Catherine de Medici required the laides of the French court in the 1500's to maintain a 13" waist, here is one website http://www.web-books.com/Classics/ON/B0/B577/039MB577.html Whether it is true or an exaggeration the point is that upper class women valued slim figures. Of course too, people were of smaller stature in earlier centuries. I can't remember who supposedly had the 10 inch waist, but if I find it I'll add it.

I would guess that Catherine's fasting was due to fanatic Catholicism (given her daughter Mary's fanaticism when she came to the throne in England), but it didn't hurt that her peers valued and respected a slim figure.

AnnieBgood
03-29-2011, 12:29 AM
Catherine's weight might have been a contributing factor to infertility. Women lose their periods if they get too thin.

Wouldn't be surprised if the infertility of Henry's other wives was caused by his philandering. The man had some scary sickness' by the end of his life.

danceronice
03-29-2011, 01:50 AM
13" is possible but at the far end of feasible unless the woman is already very, very slight. And it's not necessarily "slimming" per se. Everything a compression corset pushes around has to go SOMEWHERE. The most extreme trend in the 19th century versions you had a tiny waist with quite a bit above and below. (Of course they, and the earlier "Scarlet O'Hara" and her 18" waist trend, compress all the way around. Late 18th century stays are more like wearing a front-to-back brace.)

Yeah, I've worn them. The stays are actually nice for doing heavy lifting housework (like open-fire cooking.) You can't slouch or lift cast iron pots while bending wrong. The corsets could be worse and aren't as horrible as Hollywood leads you to believe--not that much worse than a 1950s girdle setup.

nerdycool
03-29-2011, 01:55 AM
But Catherine wasn't necessarily infertile. She conceived pretty easily, which means that her cycles were fairly consistent. Her problem was that most of her children weren't carried to term. Mary was, and perhaps the two baby Henrys. But the other 3 were for sure premature... the last was born at 32 weeks, and died within days. I guess one could still call that infertility, but from all reports during her pregnancies, she didn't raise any concerns about her weight.

And there is no proof Henry had any STD's. It would have been noted in his physician's logs, and there is no such notation. Had he passed any STD's on to his wives, it would have been noted in the Queen's physician's logs as well.

AnnieBgood
03-29-2011, 02:11 AM
The King may not have had stds, but he did have a lot of sickness' that were the reason for his demise. His physician's were known to guild the lily about his health and prowess. I've seen some excerpts that praise his virility, manly calves, and etc..

Tinami Amori
03-29-2011, 05:07 AM
I would guess that Catherine's fasting was due to fanatic Catholicism (given her daughter Mary's fanaticism when she came to the throne in England), but it didn't hurt that her peers valued and respected a slim figure.

Curves were in fashion back then..... symbols of fertility.... :lol:

In Tudor times the standards of beauty were not a slender woman, but a busty, curvy, light hair, light skin, blue eyes, rosy plump milky cheeks, and every other attribute of a “healthy mother to a herd of healthy sons”.

The objectors to Anne Boleyn always pointed out that she is “too thin, her breasts are too small, and skin/hair too dark to be a good mother to the future king”.

In Spain, at the time, the “curves of the future wife and mother of your sons” were even more important since Spain had the "arab/north african influences"...... :lol:

Jenny
03-29-2011, 12:47 PM
The King may not have had stds, but he did have a lot of sickness' that were the reason for his demise. His physician's were known to guild the lily about his health and prowess. I've seen some excerpts that praise his virility, manly calves, and etc..

I believe that in his youth and younger adulthood, those descriptions were true. He was very athletic - playing tennis, riding, jousting and dancing often, so it stands to reason that he would have been in good physical shape.

It was only at age 45 in 1536 that things started to go downhill - he was in a severe jousting accident that knocked him out for a time, and suffered a serious leg injury that never healed. His pain and inability to participate fully in sports and dancing led to his weight gain (not to mention the festering sore) and likely diabetes and heart trouble.

From what I can tell, other than the obvious flattery and refusal to mention the prospect of death for fear of treason, court physicians of the time were very thorough in their records. Syphillis was well known at the time, and treated openly - and yet Henry's medical records contain no reference to the known treatments of the time. Similarly, Henry's wives and his surviving children have no recorded symptoms or treatments of STDs.

There's so much focus on Henry's six wives and his physical decline in the last 10 years of his life that history seems to have forgotten quite a bit about him.

attyfan
03-29-2011, 02:49 PM
... Wouldn't be surprised if the infertility of Henry's other wives was caused by his philandering. The man had some scary sickness' by the end of his life.

What infertility of Henry's other wives? He had children by 3 of them; one more (Catherine Parr) had a child as soon as she was married to a young man (Thomas Seymour; her husbands before Henry were also elderly). Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard never had the chance to show whether or not they could have children.

aliceanne
03-29-2011, 07:28 PM
Curves were in fashion back then..... symbols of fertility.... :lol:

In Tudor times the standards of beauty were not a slender woman, but a busty, curvy, light hair, light skin, blue eyes, rosy plump milky cheeks, and every other attribute of a “healthy mother to a herd of healthy sons”.

The objectors to Anne Boleyn always pointed out that she is “too thin, her breasts are too small, and skin/hair too dark to be a good mother to the future king”.

In Spain, at the time, the “curves of the future wife and mother of your sons” were even more important since Spain had the "arab/north african influences"...... :lol:

That could be, I don't know, all I've seen of Henry's wives are modern actresses and Madame Tussaud's :)

With all the clothes they wore you could hide a lot of figure faults so why worry:lol:

AnnieBgood
03-30-2011, 12:01 AM
What infertility of Henry's other wives? He had children by 3 of them; one more (Catherine Parr) had a child as soon as she was married to a young man (Thomas Seymour; her husbands before Henry were also elderly). Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard never had the chance to show whether or not they could have children.

Good point, but didn't most married couples of that time have at least a handful of children? The man had to keep trying and trying just to get 2 daughters and a sickly son.

nerdycool
03-30-2011, 01:19 AM
At least he had children who lived. He could have been like Queen Anne... she was pregnant 18 times, and none of them lived past childhood. Only 6 were born alive, although half died within days. The rest were miscarriages & stillbirths.

And Edward was actually born healthy. It was only later on in which he got sick, and resulted in his early death.

attyfan
03-30-2011, 02:22 AM
Good point, but didn't most married couples of that time have at least a handful of children? The man had to keep trying and trying just to get 2 daughters and a sickly son.

Depends upon how many you consider to be "a handful." Jane Seymour was one of seven (most surviving infancy) -- and all had one mother. Her brother Edward had 9 of his own -- all by one mother. The second Duke of Norfolk also had at least five who survived to adulthood, but by several wives (death in childbirth was not uncommon). One of his daughters (Elizabeth) was the mother of Anne Boleyn; and one of his younger sons was the father of Catherine Howard.

danceronice
03-30-2011, 02:30 AM
One of the big reasons for shorter AVERAGE lifespans in earlier times is how many people died in infancy or early childhood. Stillbirths, miscarriages, both mother and child dying during birth, all very normal. Combine that with how even NOW about half of all conceptions don't result in a pregnancy or live birth, not having a horde of children doesn't automatically mean something's really off.

Lanie
03-30-2011, 03:26 AM
Depends upon how many you consider to be "a handful." Jane Seymour was one of seven (most surviving infancy) -- and all had one mother. Her brother Edward had 9 of his own -- all by one mother. The second Duke of Norfolk also had at least five who survived to adulthood, but by several wives (death in childbirth was not uncommon). One of his daughters (Elizabeth) was the mother of Anne Boleyn; and one of his younger sons was the father of Catherine Howard.

Then you had people like the Duke of Northumberland who had 14 children with his wife Jane, though a few died. Can you imagine giving birth 14 times? (Okay, Michelle Duggar can, but... :rofl: )

I wouldn't call it anorexia, for certain, considering it was due to fasting and wouldn't be some psychological thing. Considering she had what, six pregnancies, it didn't hinder things. Just bad luck.

Bostonfan
03-30-2011, 04:19 AM
I always thought it was cruelly ironic that the Henry VIII blamed his wives for not giving him a son when it was up to him to contribute the necessary Y chromosone.

And how deliciously ironic that for all his insistence that England needed a male ruler, his daughter Elizabeth had one of the longest tenure in history on the throne (longer than him), not counting modern monarchy.