Respectful Insolence

Historical lunacy

Everyone else is jumping off the bridge; so I thought I would too. Take that, PZ, Joshua, and Afarensis! I’m a monarch, albeit a mad one:

I'm Charles the Mad. Sclooop.
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved!

A fine, amiable and dreamy young man, skilled in horsemanship and archery, you were also from a long line of dribbling madmen. King at 12 and quickly married to your sweetheart, Bavarian Princess Isabeau, you enjoyed many happy months together before either of you could speak anything of the other’s language. However, after illness you became a tad unstable. When a raving lunatic ran up to your entourage spouting an incoherent prophecy of doom, you were unsettled enough to slaughter four of your best men when a page dropped a lance. Your hair and nails fell out. At a royal masquerade, you and your courtiers dressed as wild men, ending in tragedy when four of them accidentally caught fire and burned to death. You were saved by the timely intervention of the Duchess of Berry’s underskirts.

This brought on another bout of sickness, which surgeons countered by drilling holes in your skull. The following months saw you suffer an exorcism, beg your friends to kill you, go into hyperactive fits of gaiety, run through your rooms to the point of exhaustion, hide from imaginary assassins, claim your name was Georges, deny that you were King and fail to recognise your family. You smashed furniture and wet yourself at regular intervals. Passing briefly into erratic genius, you believed yourself to be made of glass and demanded iron rods in your attire to prevent you breaking.

In 1405 you stopped bathing, shaving or changing your clothes. This went on until several men were hired to blacken their faces, hide, jump out and shout “boo!”, upon which you resumed basic hygiene. Despite this, your wife continued sleeping with you until 1407, when she hired a young beauty, Odette de Champdivers, to take her place. Isabeau then consoled herself, as it were, with your brother. Her lovers followed thick and fast while you became a pawn of your court, until you had her latest beau strangled and drowned.

A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities, but you succumbed again in 1422 and died. Your disease was most likely hereditary. Unfortunately, you had anywhere up to eleven children, who variously went on to develop capriciousness, great cruelty, insecurity, paranoia, revulsion towards food and, in one case, a phobia of bridges.

Comments

  1. #1 JohnnieCanuck
    December 14, 2006

    You would do well now to remember how G. Santayana was paraphrased:

    Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Nothing like a good trepanning to cure what ails you. And if that fails, at least the zombies have an easier time sucking out the brains. What could be wrong with win-win surgery like that?

  2. #2 Berlzebub
    December 14, 2006

    I got the same result, Orac. Considering the way the questions were posed, I wasn’t very impressed, though.

    -Berlzebub

  3. #3 BigHeathenMike
    December 14, 2006

    I was also Charles VI. Seems we’re a bevy of mad-men running amok in the castle – perhaps a nice analogy.

  4. #4 Prup aka Jim Benton
    December 14, 2006

    And since I am Pope Stephen, I absolve you of all your sins. Now if you will KINDLY send your armies to Brooklyn to protect me, I may be able to keep from being overthrown so the absolving sticks.

  5. #5 Blake Stacey
    December 14, 2006

    Hey, Mr. “Prup aka Jim Benton”, I am Pope Stephen VII (or possibly VI), so fork over that pointy hat! I also just discovered that I am Dream of the Endless, otherwise known as Morpheus, so you better act fast or else I’ll curse you with eternal wakening.

    I just got a neat idea, but it’ll only work if somebody actually knows how to make online quizzes. (I mean, have you ever met somebody who has? If this were an Asimov story, we’d discover that online “which foo are you” questionnaires are actually pumped into the World Wide Tubes to test human psychology.) How about this: answer ten questions, and we’ll tell you which ScienceBlogger you are! :-)

  6. #6 Lynn
    December 14, 2006

    Hmm. It said I was Nicola Tesla, but a number of the bits in his description directly contradict the information I entered in the survey.

    Methinks there’s something foul afoot ;^)

    Lynn

  7. #7 Robert M.
    December 14, 2006

    Apropos, Orac, I’ve been itching to see a YFDW on trepanation. A few months ago, a co-worker (a fervent “atheist” who ordered his life according to an astrologer friend, and treated himself for various illnesses with homeopathic remedies) started espousing it, and I was dumbfounded to hear that the procedure is still performed.

    Trepanation advocates believe that it restores your “brainbloodvolume” to its childhood state, somehow improving your health and creativity. To me, this is a truly amazing instance woo, and I’d love to see an appropriately Insolent takedown.

  8. #8 llewelly
    December 15, 2006

    A severe fever was fended off with oranges and pomegranates in vast quantities …

    Apparently Linus Pauling spoke to King Charles the Mad through the Vaults of Time.