Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
Your Shopping Basket
Total number of items: 0
Sub total: £0.00
Go to Checkout
Our Birmingham Shop
Our Bristol Shop
Animators Survival Kit

Bungling doctor 'caused John Keats agony'

26th October 2009

Romantic poet John Keats suffered a lingering and painful death thanks to a bungling doctor, a new book claims.

Dr James Clark, who eventually became Queen Victoria's personal physician, originally diagnosed the writer with stress and a routine stomach ailment rather than tuberculosis.

Keats' treatment was delayed because of the doctor's error, causing him to suffer terrible pain and beg for laudanum, which contains opium and morphine, so he could end his own life.

Dr Clark exacerbated his mistake by prescribing the wrong treatment when he discovered the poet's true affliction, putting him on starvation rations and regularly drawing blood.

The claims are made in the biography Joseph Severn, A Life, which examines the life of Severn - an artist who cared for Keats in the months before his death.

'Dr Clark's preferred method of treatment made Keats' last weeks much more painful than they needed to be,' said Sue Brown, the author of the book.

Recently, Gary Dexter's Poisoned Pens revealed the 'literary invective' famous writers have poured on their counterparts. Lord Byron, for example, believed Keats should have been flayed alive for his 'drivelling idiotism'.

Latest Blog
Read an extract from Lucinda Hawksley's The Writer Abroad
23/02/2017

Read an extract from Lucinda Hawksley's The Writer Abroad

#FoylesFive: Making Movies
22/02/2017

Magdalena from our Birmingham branch has a selection of books for all you budding film makers out there.

Matthew Blakstad on Why He Loves Paper
22/02/2017

Matthew's writing looks at the ways technology is changing our experience of the world – and of each other. Yet in spite of his fascination with tech, he still prefers reading on paper. Here’s why.

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd