The Duchess of Cambridge is suffering the same pregnancy-related illness that most likely claimed the life of Haworth author Charlotte Bronte.
But vastly improved medical techniques mean Kate Middleton’s condition is unlikely to end in the same tragic circumstances as the writer of Jane Eyre, who died in 1855 aged 38. [...]
Ann Dinsdale, of Haworth’s Bronte Parsonage Museum, said: “It was generally accepted Charlotte died of Hyperemesis Gravidarum in the early stages of her pregnancy.
“There was nothing that could be done for her then. Today people get good care, but back then there just wasn’t that care. Treatment wasn’t possible.
“There are a few really expressive pencilled notes she wrote in that period that make it clear she suffered terribly.
“People who suffer today have drips attached and get through it fine, but what happened to Charlotte Bronte really highlights the fact that this can be a very serious condition without the right care.”http://bronteblog.blogspot.com/
What happened to Charlotte Bronte?
TO MISS ELLEN NUSSEY‘Haworth, January 19th, 1855.‘Dear Ellen,—Since our return from Gawthorpe we have had a Mr. Bell, one of Arthur’s cousins, staying with us. It was a great pleasure. I wish you could have seen him and made his acquaintance; a true gentleman by nature and cultivation is not after all an everyday thing.‘As to the living of Habergham or Padiham, it appears the p. 499chance is doubtful at present for anybody. The present incumbent wishes to retract his resignation, and declares his intention of appointing a curate for two years. I fear Mr. Sowden hardly produced a favourable impression; a strong wish was expressed that Arthur could come, but that is out of the question.‘I very much wish to come to Brookroyd, and I hope to be able to write with certainty and fix Wednesday, the 31st January, as the day; but the fact is I am not sure whether I shall be well enough to leave home. At present I should be a most tedious visitor. My health has been really very good since my return from Ireland till about ten days ago, when the stomach seemed quite suddenly to lose its tone; indigestion and continual faint sickness have been my portion ever since. Don’t conjecture, dear Nell, for it is too soon yet, though I certainly never before felt as I have done lately. But keep the matter wholly to yourself, for I can come to no decided opinion at present. I am rather mortified to lose my good looks and grow thin as I am doing just when I thought of going to Brookroyd. Dear Ellen, I want to see you, and I hope I shall see you well. My love to all.—Yours faithfully,‘C. B. Nicholls.’
Soon after her return, she was attacked by new sensations of perpetual nausea, and ever-recurring faintness. After this state of things had lasted for some time; she yielded to Mr. Nicholls' wish that a doctor should be sent for. He came, and assigned a natural cause for her miserable indisposition; a little patience, and all would go right. She, who was ever patient in illness, tried hard to bear up and bear on. But the dreadful sickness increased and increased, till the very sight of food occasioned nausea. A wren would have starved on what she ate during those last six weeks," says one. Tabby's health had suddenly and utterly given way, and she died in this time of distress and anxiety respecting the last daughter of the house she had served so long. Martha tenderly waited on her mistress, and from time to time tried to cheer her with the thought of the baby that was coming. "I dare say I shall be glad some time," she would say; "but I am so ill - so weary - " Then she took to her bed, too weak to sit up. From that last couch she wrote two notes - in pencil. The first, which has no date, is addressed to her own