…both literally, and figuratively, according to my late Grandmother, who was something of an “expert” on the English monarchies. So rotten, that when a group of men carried his dead body out, three died from the smell alone.
As a long-standing legend, this is delightful – the stuff that fishwives tales are made of. How fitting that this murderous megalomaniac, this bloated, syphlitic adulterer, none too clean to start with (this was in the days when the ostensibly “clean” people took baths once a month) should end up in such a state.
Which are sound reasons to view my late grandmother’s claim with a modicum of doubt. Yet, we must allow for the fact that on a number of occasions, even in recent history, there have been reports of people who were sickened to the point of going to the ER, after being exposed to some manner of “gases” released by a decaying corpse which they were unfortunate enough to stumble upon. Of course, it’s debatable whether such gases were truly “poisonous,” or whether the hospital visit was simply the result of profound nausea and the understandable hysteria of discovering a decayed body.
A mortician might know more about this. Is there a mortician in the house?