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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Did Jane Austen develop cataracts from arsenic poisoning?

When Jane Austen died in 1817, aged 41, her portable writing desk was passed down through her eldest brother’s family. In 1999 Austen’s great-great-great-niece bequeathed it to the British Library. Three pairs of spectacles, presumably belonging to Jane Austen, were inside the desk and the British Library has for the first time had the spectacles tested.

This article looks at some of the health problems that could have led to a deterioration in the author's eyesight - including arsenic poisoning.

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