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Was Jane Austen killed by cows?

Was Jane Austen killed by cows?: “

jane austenWhat was the mysterious ailment that killed Jane Austen? Could she have been felled by the lovely cows in the English countryside? That’s the theory of an article in the journal Medical Humanities.

Many have assumed that Austen died from Addison’s disease, a once-fatal condition triggered by the failure of the renal glands. But in Medical Humanities, K.G. White examined the author’s letters and found no mention of the painful symptoms common to Addison’s. Her theory: Austen may have succumbed to tuberculosis contracted from cows. Here’s a summary of her findings:

“Important symptoms reported by contemporary Addison’s patients—mental confusion, generalised pain and suffering, weight loss and anorexia—are absent from Jane Austen’s letters. Thus, by listening to the patient’s perspective, we can conclude it is unlikely that Addison’s disease caused Jane Austen’s demise. Disseminated bovine tuberculosis would offer a coherent explanation for her symptoms … .”

A bit more on the topic from The Guardian.

Thanks to ReadStreet for the article tip.

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