It's a history mystery.
August 29, 2011 12:32 AM   Subscribe

HistoryFilter: Help my friend figure out which famous pre-1800s, European historical figure this riddle refers to.

Asking for a friend, who has been receiving some weird letters from an anonymous source. One of the letters contained the following riddle, which is apparently a clue to the source's identity:

The clue concerns a historically famous of European background, pre-1800s.

"It was only after several years of arguing that we got divorced. He used to make threats, saying he would stab me with his big hairy anus - I'd rather be beheaded! He picked a good time to do it as well, just after my mother died. He would call me occasionally, usually when drunk, to say things like, "You slag. I'm glad we're divorced." Sometimes I wish I were beheaded. However a couple of years down the track, after all the shit, we both survived."


Do any history buffs know who this might refer to?
posted by lovedbymarylane to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Catherine of Aragorn?
posted by Ashley801 at 12:58 AM on August 29, 2011


Thats the first thing I thought of when you wrote too.

Divorced
Beheaded
Died
Survived

Thats all Henry8 and his posse.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:02 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah yeah, now that hal_c_on wrote it out like that... that's exactly how Wikipedia says that people remember the order of his wives, because it kind of rhymes -- in order, divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.

So,

"It was only after several years of arguing that we got divorced. He used to make threats, saying he would stab me with his big hairy anus - I'd rather be beheaded! He picked a good time to do it as well, just after my mother died. He would call me occasionally, usually when drunk, to say things like, "You slag. I'm glad we're divorced." Sometimes I wish I were beheaded. However a couple of years down the track, after all the shit, we both survived."
posted by Ashley801 at 1:06 AM on August 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably not Catherine. Isabella died in 1504 and she and Henry weren't divorced until 1533, hardly "just after". Also not Anne of Cleves, whose mother was still alive when her marriage was annulled.

Maybe Josephine? But her and Nepoleon's marriage wasn't supposed to be that acrimonious (she just couldn't have children). and the divorce wasn't until 1810, but she was famous before 1800 too.
posted by Webnym at 1:30 AM on August 29, 2011


Of course! I know that poem, and I still didn't pick up on it. Thanks, Ashley801!
posted by lovedbymarylane at 1:30 AM on August 29, 2011


"Hairy" is also a homonym for Harry, a UK nickname for Henry.

There are a few other things in there that may be part of the riddle, or distraction -- it's hard to tell. He would call me occasionally ... I'm glad we divorced could refer to the post-divorce friendship of Henry with Anne of Cleves, for example. Anus could be in there because Henry VIII promulgated the Buggery Act.
posted by dhartung at 12:19 PM on August 29, 2011


Uh, wasn't hal_c_on the one that got it? He even says, "that's Henry8 and his posse." I mean, yeah, Ashley801's included your own text quoted back to you with markup, but still…
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:31 PM on August 29, 2011


Agreed, absolutely. I was in the middle of reading the Wikipedia article and skimmed by the mnemonic device/poem thing a few times and didn't even make the connection till hal_c_on posted, just wanted to add on to his answer for emphasis.
posted by Ashley801 at 10:55 PM on August 29, 2011


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