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Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Jane Austen probably died from tuberculosis

From The Times, with the first sentence deliberately omitted:

For more than 40 years Jane Austen’s death in 1817 has been attributed widely to Addison’s disease, a rare condition that only became treatable widely with drugs in the early 1950s.

However, after a trawl through the author’s papers, an expert in the disease has concluded that the author is more likely to have died from bovine tuberculosis, then common and probably contracted from drinking unpasteurised milk.

Katherine White, a scholar from the Addison’s Disease Self Help Group argues in Medical Humanities, that this would not only be a “simpler explanation for the symptoms” but that it also better fits the available evidence for Austen’s final illness.

Now, back to that first sentence. Guess how the Times piece starts. Go on, guess, no word of a google. Am I right or am I right? 

Posted on 12/01/2009 7:50 AM by Mary Jackson
2 Dec 2009
Ole Sandberg

I suspect, although it is not yet universally acknowledged, that "Ben Hoyle, David Rose and Rosemary Bennett" is a cunningly devised pseudonym for Mary Jackson.

1 Dec 2009
Hugh Fitzgerald

I thought the first sentence was going to be that old standby: "TB or not TB, that is the congestion." Boy, was I wrong.

1 Dec 2009
Send an emailRebecca Bynum

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mary Jackson is too funny for her own good.