Was Jane Austen Poisoned?
Thought we might talk about something a little light-hearted today: Hey, did you know Jane Austen might’ve been poisoned?
Well, at least a new theory surrounding her death says that’s a possibility. For years, Austen experts haven’t been able to pinpoint a cause of her death—some say cancer or Addison’s Disease.
But crime writer Lindsay Ashford has another idea, after reading through some of Austen’s old letters. One particular sentence in a letter stood out:
“I am considerably better now and am recovering my looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white and every wrong colour.”
Because of crime research Ashford has done for her crime novels, she says those symptoms were consistent with arsenic poisoning. But, keep in mind, that doesn’t necessarily mean murder.
Back in Jane Austen’s day, arsenic was a form of medicine. Yeah, seriously. Got an upset stomach? Put that Pepto-Bismol down. Instead, take this arsenic—you know, a freaking poison THAT WILL KILL YOU! And you thought your doctor sucked.
Ashford says: “After all my research I think it’s highly likely she was given a medicine containing arsenic. When you look at her list of symptoms and compare them to the list of arsenic symptoms, there is an amazing correlation.”
All that aside, Ashford is writing a novel based on the idea that Austen was murdered.
So, the moral of the story, if you woke up with an upset stomach this morning, SKIP THE ARSENIC!