Debate Surrounding Jane Austen's Illness at 40/41

According to A. Upfal's "Jane Austen’s Lifelong Health Problems and Final Illness: New Evidence Points to a Fatal Hodgkin’s Disease and Excludes the Widely Accepted Addison’s," Austen most likely suffered from Hodgkin's disease along with an autoimmune disease (page?). This stands in direct contrast with what other Austen scholars like Deirdre Le Faye conclude, “[that] up to the end of 1815, Jane had been remarkably free from ailments” (page?). Upfal goes on to further state that "[b]iographers have also tended to follow this line and ignore or trivialise previous episodes of illness that are documented in Jane’s letters" (page?). In fact, Upfal asserts that "...a medical history is threaded through the surviving Austen letters, which reveals that she suffered other, and unusually severe and debilitating illnesses, and was particularly susceptible to infection" (Upfal, par. 2). It is worth noting that the nature of Jane Austen's illness is far from settled, but what is certain is that she suffered from an illness that ultimately took her life at around age 40.

Upfal, A. "Jane Austen’s lifelong health problems and final illness: New evidence points to a fatal Hodgkin’s disease and excludes the widely accepted Addison’s". 

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

circa. 1817 to circa. 1818

Parent Chronology: