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A Journal on Physiopathology and Therapy of Chronic Cutaneous Ulcers

Official Journal of the Italian Association for Cutaneous Ulcers
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Acta Vulnologica 2007 June;5(2):73-8

language: Italian

Henry VIII: a king and his ulcer

Coppi D.

ASL di Cremona, Cremona


If it is true that everyone lives a unique life, it is true as well that an ulcer does conceal flashes of life, for it tell us a lot of a wounded person. The manifestation of an ulcer intertwines the body and the life of the person who unfortunately bears it on herself. For it, I went over the life of King Henry VIII with the purpose to find information on his ulcers. After a short historical excursus about the king’s age, I quote some excerpts drawn from a well known novel. The novel - a kind of autobiography of the king “annotated” by his jester - shows the King suffering for a leg ulcer that has deeply lined his life, and struggling to keep the ulcer at bay using the very rough medicaments of the sixteenth century. The novel is not a “scientific” paper: it gives us the feeling and the atmosphere surrounding the king as the ulcer became more and more a serious problem impairing his ability to rule. It is a fiction – even if a well documented one – but it arouses a lot of emotions and tells us how painful can be the suffering for an ulcer, even for a mighty king.

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