Friday, May 1, 2020

Charles Dickens and the Great Typhus Plague of 1861-69.

We aren't the only ones being held captive in our own houses.  I was kvetching about the situation and someone  reminded me that Anne Frank and her family lived in an attic for two years.

Dickens was born February 7, 1812 --- hmm - was the 1812 Overture written to honor him?  Just joshing.

He died on June 9, 1970, at the ripe old age of 58 in a time when the average life span was 27 years for Londoners and for the working class?  Party hearty, you'll be dead by the time you're 22. Live hard and die young, for sure.

The Victorian Age was a tough time in which to be born.  The Victorians were all hoity-toity prissy (piano legs were never referred to in polite conversation.) but a survey in 1851 told the truth - 1/3 of the population never set food in church.

In 1847 500,000  or one-fourth the entire population had typhus - due to the horrific sanitation found in London.

In 1839 nearly half of the funerals in London were for children younger than 10.  Cause?  Contagious disease (chicken pox, measles) and malnutrition.  Dickens and wife Catherine Thomson Hogarth (not the descendent of Hogarth the painter.) had 10 children in their house plus his younger brother and her younger sister Mary.  There may have been/surely was some hanky-panky between Mr. Dickens and Miss Mary for when she died suddenly, he was absolutely gutted.  Catherine had to take him to the country to try to assuage his grief.

In June of 1870 Dickens suffered from a paralytic stroke and promptly died at 58.  At least he beat the odds for 27 or 22.

And we think we're being hard-shipped.  If you get into time travel, stay the hell out of London during the above years.

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