REWORDING LORD ACTON. The theory that head injuries can explain Henry VIII’s becoming a monster is plausible, especially in light of new data suggesting that head injuries have caused permanent damage more often than had been thought.
I have always thought and still think that Lord Acton’s aphorisms are sufficient to explain the behavior of rulers who started their careers doing popular things and generally receiving approval from historians and finished by being monsters. Rulers like Caligula and Nero and Henry VIII.
I quoted Lord Acton in this post: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men….”
I think the second sentence would be clearer if it read: “Great men almost always BECOME bad men….”