I’m going to be honest: I am interested in the theory behind this book. But in terms of reading 300+ pages exploring the medical explanations of a person’s god awful behaviour, the idea really didn’t float my boat.
However, I kind of enjoyed it.
The author, Kyra Cornelius Kramer, is very smart. And quite obviously passionate about the theory that Henry VIII turned into a royal arse; mind the pun, because of a genetic disorder. Everyone knows that Henry was a bit of a tyrant, and wasn’t avert to chopping off people’s heads. But why? Was it so he could demonstrate his power as King? Maybe. But Kramer believes that he had a Kell Positive blood type, and suffered from McLeod’s Syndrome.
If Henry was Kell Positive, this would adequately explain Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn’s multiple miscarriages. And his god-awful temperament could be explained by the accompanying disorder, McLeod’s.
As with many a case in history, the theory that Henry was Kell Positive and suffered from McLeod’s Syndrome is conjecture. However, I kinda see how it could be a real possibility. I want to go and dig up Henry’s body and actually find out if this theory was in fact a reality…but that would never be allowed to happen! But, this would be the only way we could put the theories and rumours that have surrounded Henry’s health to rest once and for all.
Not only does this book explain this compelling medical theory, but it also provides a great and beautifully written account of Henry’s life, and lives that of his women. Kramer’s writing is compelling, easy to digest, and is truly passionate; a passion that only someone who wholeheartedly believes in a theory could truly harness and feed into their work.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would. You may be as pleasantly surprised as I was. But, take a chance on something different, I mean, we only live once!