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Showing posts from July, 2019

What Killed Jane Austen?

Sketch of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra, circa 1810 Possible causes of Jane Austen's death This month marks the 202 anniversary of Jane Austen's death on July 18, 1817. She was only 41 years old, and her early death was a tragic loss to literature. During her lifetime, she wrote six full-length novels, all of which are still popular today, and she had other works in progress, too. Just think what she could have written if she'd lived longer! Her final illness must have been baffling to her and her family 200 years ago, and for decades historians have been trying to figure out what actually killed her. Was she killed by some form of cancer, such as stomach cancer or Hodgkin's lymphoma?  That's one theory.  Judging by the symptoms she recorded in her letters (fevers, facial aches, and bilious attacks, to name a few), some scholars believe she might have suffered from the adrenal gland autoimmune disorder known as Addison's disease, which John F