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  #1  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:50 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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What is King Henry the Eighth holding in his hand in this painting?

Could someone please tell me what Henry VIII is holding in his right hand in this painting?

It's probably the most famous depiction of him. Yet I have never heard anyone talk about that thing in his hand.

Is it a dildo? A banana? A dead eel or a piece of smoked fish?

What the heck is that thing?
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:51 PM
Icarus Icarus is offline
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His gloves.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:58 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Damn, how boring. I was hoping it would be something more strange.

It's much more obvious that it's a pair of gloves in this painting.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2009, 11:03 PM
fiddlesticks fiddlesticks is offline
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Dear Tudor England,
Your Henry VIII is ugly.
Best,
Showtime England
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2009, 11:54 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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OK, now I want to ask, why did Henry VIII have (at least) two pictures painted of himself holding his gloves? Was holding gloves a big thing in Tudor times?
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2009, 11:57 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Just noticed this text ad under this thread:
Quote:
Unsatisfied Married Women
These Women are Dying for a Real Man to Satisfy their Needs
Henry might not be their best bet.

Last edited by njtt; 04-19-2009 at 11:57 PM..
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:22 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Judging by his suit of armor, I think he would probably be able to satisfy them and then some.

Edward IV, Christopher Walken lookalike and psychedelic shirt aficionado was a notorious womanizer; he had no fewer than seven illegitimate children. (He also used to eat so much that he would throw up in order to keep eating.)

If noses are any indication, Francis I of France was probably a big hit with the ladies.

Carlos II of Spain, on the other hand, couldn't even get it up. Deformed and retarded, he was the end result of generations of Hapsburg inbreeding.
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:32 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Edward IV, Christopher Walken lookalike and psychedelic shirt aficionado was a notorious womanizer; he had no fewer than seven illegitimate children. (He also used to eat so much that he would throw up in order to keep eating.)
Note that Edward IV was Henry VIII's grandfather.
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:51 AM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post

Edward IV, Christopher Walken lookalike and psychedelic shirt aficionado was a notorious womanizer; he had no fewer than seven illegitimate children. (He also used to eat so much that he would throw up in order to keep eating.)
Pfft. Effeminate wanker. Henry I had as many as 35 bastards ( wikipedia wusses out at 20-25, but other sources list more ). "John the Babymaker" ( and isn't that the absolute best nickname of all time ) had 63. Finally Augustus the Strong may have numbered his progeny in the hundreds.

Compared to these mighty sperm banks, Edward IV must perforce weep from inadequacy .
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2009, 01:01 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Augustus...wow.

Quote:
* 1694-1696 with Countess Maria Aurora of Königsmarck.
* 1696-1699 with Countess Anna Aloysia Maximiliane von Lamberg.
* 1698-1704 with Ursula Katharina of Altenbockum, later Princess of Teschen.
* 1701-1706 with Fatima, Turkish woman, renamed later as Maria Anna of Spiegel.
* 1704-1713 with Anna Constantia of Brockdorff, later Countess of Cosel.
* 1706-1707 with Henriette Rénard.
* 1708 with Angélique Duparc, french dancer and actress.
* 1713-1719 with Maria Magdalena of Bielinski, by her first marriage Countess of Dönhoff and by the second Princess Lubomirska.
* 1720-1721 with Erdmuthe Sophie of Dieskau, by marriage of Loß
* 1721-1722 with Baroness Christine of Osterhausen, by marriage of Stanislawski.
* ?-? with Fredierike, a black woman.
A real progressive!
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2009, 01:50 AM
rock party rock party is offline
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Is it the poofy shirt or does Henry have some really broad shoulders?
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2009, 01:59 AM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Originally Posted by rock party View Post
Is it the poofy shirt or does Henry have some really broad shoulders?
There may be some padding (due to fabric and/or artistic licence). But many of the contemporary commentators noted the impressive physique of Henry, when he was in his prime.
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2009, 02:06 AM
rock party rock party is offline
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Quote:
many of the contemporary commentators noted the impressive physique of Henry
Lest they get their head chopped off!

Last edited by C K Dexter Haven; 04-20-2009 at 09:25 AM.. Reason: Fixed quote tags -- CKDH
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2009, 08:42 AM
capybara capybara is offline
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Yes, holding your gloves became a standard detail in Renaissance/Baroque portraiture. Status symbol/sign of refinement.
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2009, 09:16 AM
justrob justrob is offline
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Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
There may be some padding (due to fabric and/or artistic licence). But many of the contemporary commentators noted the impressive physique of Henry, when he was in his prime.
The digrams at the bottom of this article certainly show his growth.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesi...chy-henry-viii

A friend of mine had a large format poster poster of his last suit of armour. It was quite impressive. I would like to see one that has his various suits in order showing the progress.
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2009, 09:24 AM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is offline
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So he has his glove in one hand and his dirk in the other?
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2009, 10:44 AM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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So he has his glove in one hand and his dirk in the other?
Are we talking about Michael Jackson?
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:13 AM
Oswald Bastable Oswald Bastable is offline
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Note that Edward IV was Henry VIII's grandfather.
No, he wasn't. Henry VIII's grandfather was Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond. Edward IV was the older brother of Richard III, who Henry VIII's father, Henry Tudor (later VII), deposed at the Battle of Bosworth. Edward IV had no (legitimate) grandchildren due to his brother (probably) offing his only two legitimate sons (the Princes in the Tower and all that jazz).

The Tudor claim to the throne derived from John of Gaunt, third son of Edward III, and Henry VIII's great-great-great-grandfather.

OB

Last edited by Oswald Bastable; 04-20-2009 at 11:17 AM..
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:19 AM
sailor sailor is offline
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Originally Posted by capybara View Post
Yes, holding your gloves became a standard detail in Renaissance/Baroque portraiture. Status symbol/sign of refinement.
Kid gloves were considered the acme of luxury.
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  #20  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:19 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oswald Bastable View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
Note that Edward IV was Henry VIII's grandfather.
No, he wasn't. Henry VIII's grandfather was Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond.
Everyone has two grandfathers, right? Paternal and maternal.

Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV. Her second son by Henry VII was Henry, Duke of York, who succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII.

Last edited by Northern Piper; 04-20-2009 at 11:22 AM.. Reason: hit submit too soon
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  #21  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:25 AM
Oswald Bastable Oswald Bastable is offline
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Everyone has two grandfathers, right? Paternal and maternal.

Henry VII married Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV. Her second son by Henry VII was Henry, Duke of York, who succeeded to the throne as Henry VIII.
Damn your right, of course. And damn my hazy memory of A Level history...

OB

Last edited by Oswald Bastable; 04-20-2009 at 11:26 AM..
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  #22  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:29 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Didn't Genghis Khan father children on something like 1,000 different women? I think I read that some huge percentage of men in central Asia (10 percent, perhaps?) are direct male-line descendants of Genghis Khan.
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  #23  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:32 AM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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He got married to the widow next door? Who had been married seven times before?
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  #24  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:36 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Didn't she end up walking the Tower, with her 'ead tucked, underneath her arm?
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  #25  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:51 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Originally Posted by Oswald Bastable View Post
Damn your right, of course. And damn my hazy memory of A Level history...

OB
But you're right that Henry VII didn't base his claim to the throne on his marriage to Elizabeth. His marriage was an astute political move, to try to solidify his position and reduce the chance for Yorkist opposition, but he based his claim on his bloodline and his right of conquest.

I mentioned Henry VIII's connexion to Edward IV because of the similarities in their, uhm, sexual appetites. Also, I think some commentators at the time noted that they had similar physiques - Edward IV was a big man.
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  #26  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Judging by his suit of armor, I think he would probably be able to satisfy them and then some.
The codpiece is evident in the OP's portrait as well.
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  #27  
Old 04-20-2009, 06:29 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rock party View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator
But many of the contemporary commentators noted the impressive physique of Henry, when he was in his prime.
Lest they get their head chopped off!
No that's not correct. Many of the contemporary comments are contained in foreign ambassadors' reports back to their home governments. They were in no danger of violence from Henry, nor were they under any obligation to paint a rosy picture of him in their private dispatches. And yet they did so. I think it's safe to conclude that Henry was a physically impressive speciemen in his youth and early thirties.
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  #28  
Old 04-21-2009, 01:35 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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Didn't Genghis Khan father children on something like 1,000 different women? I think I read that some huge percentage of men in central Asia (10 percent, perhaps?) are direct male-line descendants of Genghis Khan.
No, only one. He was working in public works somewhere in the London suburbs until the demolition of the planet Earth.
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  #29  
Old 04-21-2009, 12:13 PM
TV time TV time is offline
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OK, now I want to ask, why did Henry VIII have (at least) two pictures painted of himself holding his gloves? Was holding gloves a big thing in Tudor times?
Holding something gives a model something to do with his/her hands. Posing for a painting can be a royal (pun intended) bore and gripping something (non obscene) can help keep the hands in a consistent pose. Gloves can be tightly gripped and convey class and refinement. Add to this that fingers can be somewhat challenging to paint - Yeah, yeah the painter of the royal personage should be well up to the challenge. (Who knows the painter may even have been commenting on the king's second wife's fondness for constantly wearing gloves?)
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  #30  
Old 04-21-2009, 02:04 PM
vifslan vifslan is offline
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As Cunctator noted, Henry in his prime was the hottest prince and monarch of Europe. Tall, muscular, handsome, intelligent, accomplished athlete and musician, etcetera. The Venetian ambassador to England wrote home that Henry was the handsomest potentate he'd ever set eyes on, with great legs and a beautiful face.

This article by Philippa Gregory has an interesting comparison between the suits of armour worn by Harry in his mid-twenties and his mid-forties.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ble-price.html

It just happens that I read a couple of articles over the weekend on the personality change in Henry the VIII and what may have caused it. "Traumatic brain injury after jousting accident" sounded so convincing that I didn't want to believe it first, so I had to google around. Anyway, here's the story that set it off:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...t-1670421.html
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  #31  
Old 04-21-2009, 04:33 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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It's amazing you offered that link vifslan, because over the past few days I've been wondering exactly whether that jousting accident could be blamed for his viciousness in later life.
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  #32  
Old 04-22-2009, 04:00 PM
Chronos Chronos is online now
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Quoth Northern Piper:
Quote:
Everyone has two grandfathers, right? Paternal and maternal.
After taking a look at Charles II of Spain's family tree on one of those Wikipedia links, I'm not so sure on that score.
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  #33  
Old 04-22-2009, 04:21 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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Quoth Northern Piper:After taking a look at Charles II of Spain's family tree on one of those Wikipedia links, I'm not so sure on that score.
Ah yes, Charles II. Poster boy for why family trees shouldn't be loopy. Both meanings of the word.
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  #34  
Old 04-22-2009, 04:32 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Henry's on first after that bloop single that left his bat shattered, and it looks like he's got his eye on second.
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  #35  
Old 04-23-2009, 04:58 AM
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Henry's on first after that bloop single that left his bat shattered, and it looks like he's got his eye on second.
I say! Kindly remember which side of the pond Henry is on.

He is holding a shattered cricket bat in one hand and an early model of a wicket-keeping glove in the other.
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  #36  
Old 04-23-2009, 07:02 AM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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Originally Posted by TV time View Post
Holding something gives a model something to do with his/her hands. Posing for a painting can be a royal (pun intended) bore and gripping something (non obscene) can help keep the hands in a consistent pose. Gloves can be tightly gripped and convey class and refinement. Add to this that fingers can be somewhat challenging to paint - Yeah, yeah the painter of the royal personage should be well up to the challenge. (Who knows the painter may even have been commenting on the king's second wife's fondness for constantly wearing gloves?)
No one has mentioned this possibility: that the second painting is simply done from the first. Often, a royal painting was chosen as the standard model for other paintings done thereafter. The latter paintings were simply based off the standard painting, in which case the actual person didn't even need to be available for the painting. The copies usually copied the props as well as the positioning of the original.
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  #37  
Old 04-23-2009, 08:45 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Originally Posted by vifslan View Post
As Cunctator noted, Henry in his prime was the hottest prince and monarch of Europe. Tall, muscular, handsome, intelligent, accomplished athlete and musician, etcetera. The Venetian ambassador to England wrote home that Henry was the handsomest potentate he'd ever set eyes on, with great legs and a beautiful face.

This article by Philippa Gregory has an interesting comparison between the suits of armour worn by Harry in his mid-twenties and his mid-forties.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ble-price.html
The same was true of Henry's grandfather, Edward IV. I'm reading a really interesting book about him right now which is all about his reign and how it was a really interesting period of cultural advancement in England but is now completely overshadowed by the War of the Roses and the drama surrounding Richard III.

Edward IV was like the John F. Kennedy of late Medieval England - a comparison made by the book, but also one I thought of on my own before reading it - he was extremely popular, truly a king who was loved by his people. Every account of people who met him, like ambassadors and other nobles, goes on and on about how "beautiful" he was, saying that he was the most handsome king who ever ruled. He was 6'4" which meant that he was a giant, back then, and he was powerfully built. He was a well-respected soldier (even fighting on foot, on the front lines - here is a painting of him doing so, and you can see how tall and imposing he was.) But he was also a man of great culture, extremely learned, who made a point of developing a royal library and encouraging the arts and sciences. (He funded the very first printer in England, William Caxton.) Furthermore he was extremely glamorous; he was renowned for wearing elaborate and fancy clothes; and he was married to a real hottie, Elizabeth Woodville. (Which didn't stop him from having affairs with dozens of other women - like JFK he was also renowned as a playboy.)

After he reclaimed the throne from Henry VI, though, he really started to go downhill. All the accounts of the later part of his life describe an obese, lazy, unfocused ruler who was more concerned with sensual pleasures than being a king. Supposedly he used to eat so much that he would force himself to throw up so he could keep eating; one quote from a contemporary who witnessed his downward slide, from the book I'm reading, said something to the effect of, "you could actually hear the fat flowing through his arteries." (!) He died in his forties, of natural causes - widely acknowledged to have been brought on by his excessive eating, drinking, and physical inactivity.

Portraits of him throughout his reign make it clear how much he let himself go: he went from looking like this, to this, to THIS!

Like grandfather, like grandson, I guess. Although even Henry VIII was still pretty dapper even when he was on the portly side (the beard made it work.) Edward IV just wound up looking like Jon Lovitz.
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  #38  
Old 04-23-2009, 08:48 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Actually, those portraits don't really make him look handsome. Look at that retrograde chin!
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  #39  
Old 04-23-2009, 08:50 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Really? I think it's pretty prominent. In the first portrait he looks kind of like Kyle Maclachlan.
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  #40  
Old 04-23-2009, 08:56 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Actually, those portraits don't really make him look handsome. Look at that retrograde chin!
In the upper echelons of English society, having a chin is considered déclassé even to this day.

Re the original painting, it looks more like a croissant to me. Henry had a weakness for snacking.

Edit: the thing in his hand, I mean, not his chin....

Last edited by Colophon; 04-23-2009 at 08:57 AM..
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  #41  
Old 04-23-2009, 10:29 AM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I fail to see how the portraits of Edward IV depict a chinless man. If anything, his chin is unusually round and prominent. He has a little roll of fat underneath it (which gets progressively larger as time goes by) but other than that, in his early portraits at least, he looks youthful and handsome.

Here is a painting of the young Henry VIII. He looks a little like Paul Dano, actually (unfortunate victim of Daniel Plainview's bowling pin in There Will Be Blood.) Nothing at all like that guy who plays him on the TV show supposedly about "the Tudors," which I have never watched but seen ads for online.
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  #42  
Old 04-23-2009, 10:43 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I didn't say he was chinless. His chin is placed too far back. Draw a line from his forehead to his chin. That line slants back toward his body. The chin should be directly below or slightly forward of his forehead.
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  #43  
Old 04-23-2009, 04:43 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I think it's just the angle of the portrait. It doesn't really look that way here.
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  #44  
Old 04-24-2009, 03:02 PM
Belrix Belrix is offline
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I think it's just the angle of the portrait. It doesn't really look that way here.
Well - maybe.

But his chin does look like a hiney.
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  #45  
Old 04-24-2009, 03:44 PM
palindromemordnilap palindromemordnilap is offline
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Didn't Genghis Khan father children on something like 1,000 different women? I think I read that some huge percentage of men in central Asia (10 percent, perhaps?) are direct male-line descendants of Genghis Khan.
I don't think so. He had a few wives and and handful of sons (daughters generally unknown) and judging from the rest of his personality would not have cared about sexual conquest. (Note: a lot of what Westerners believe about GK is about as far off the mark as you can imagine.)

It's likely that many central Asians would claim direct patrilineal descent from GK but there's no way to prove that -- genes might show a connection but wouldn't show unbroken male lineage. It's likely that 10 percent of people on Earth today have GK as an ancestor, which would also be true of anyone who had four children and a dozen grandchildren that long ago -- this link can explain the math.

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...o-back-in-time
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  #46  
Old 04-24-2009, 03:52 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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It's likely that many central Asians would claim direct patrilineal descent from GK but there's no way to prove that -- genes might show a connection but wouldn't show unbroken male lineage.
My understanding is that there is a characteristic factor on the Y-chromosome, which can be passed only from father to son, that is connected to Genghis Khan.
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  #47  
Old 04-24-2009, 04:16 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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I don't think it's the chin so much as the plane of the face itself that seems off. A little like John Lithgow.
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  #48  
Old 04-24-2009, 04:23 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I don't think so. He had a few wives and and handful of sons (daughters generally unknown) and judging from the rest of his personality would not have cared about sexual conquest. (Note: a lot of what Westerners believe about GK is about as far off the mark as you can imagine.)
This is the kind of information I think I've heard, but not from the Daily Mail. I think I heard it on public radio or the B.B.C.
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  #49  
Old 04-26-2009, 10:47 AM
Baldwin Baldwin is offline
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Quoth Northern Piper:After taking a look at Charles II of Spain's family tree on one of those Wikipedia links, I'm not so sure on that score.
Holy Cow. No wonder the poor guy looked like a sideshow exhibit. If I read that tree right, there are three instances of a dude marrying his niece.
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  #50  
Old 04-30-2009, 03:21 AM
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This is the kind of information I think I've heard, but not from the Daily Mail. I think I heard it on public radio or the B.B.C.
You heard it on Radio Lab. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/e...segments/81064

They can't be certain it was GK, as nobody knows where he's buried and thus nobody's got a DNA sample from the horde-meister. But basically you have the gist --- it's a unique mutation on the y chomosome appearing about 1000 years ago in an area congruent with the Silk Road/area of Mongol invasion
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