Mercury

The life of John Keats the man: his family, his friends, and his contemporaries.

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Mercury

Postby Raphael » Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:57 pm

I was surprised that people in the 1800s didn't know how poisonous Mercury is and used it as medicine. The effects of taking it can be quite severe- I was wondering if when John took a few drops for his sore throat it had some severe adverse effects on him (beside making his gums ache) and may have weakened his immune system. Thoughts anyone?
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Mercury

Postby dks » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:22 pm

Ugh...awful--the thought of administering (or taking!) mercury for anything! I would imagine it would have affected his nervous system almost immediately, albeit mildly if the dose was minimal--probably dizziness and equilibrium would be a bit off...horrible...
"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of Imagination."
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Re: Mercury

Postby Raphael » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:26 pm

dks wrote:Ugh...awful--the thought of administering (or taking!) mercury for anything! I would imagine it would have affected his nervous system almost immediately, albeit mildly if the dose was minimal--probably dizziness and equilibrium would be a bit off...horrible...



I read how it affects one and I think it might have contributed to his anxiousness that he had at times.
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Mercury

Postby Raphael » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:07 am

An interesting medical article exploring the effects of people taking Mercury used for veneral disease 200 years ago.

http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata ... 20_224.pdf
John....you did not live to see-
who we are because of what you left,
what it is we are in what we make of you.

Peter Sanson, 1995.
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Re: Mercury

Postby Ennis » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:18 pm

Raphael wrote:An interesting medical article exploring the effects of people taking Mercury used for veneral disease 200 years ago.

http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/adsdata ... 20_224.pdf


Also, Hale-White's Keats as Doctor and Poet might be helpful, if read skeptically (most of you have already read it, I'm sure!). A better choice is a more recent purchase of mine (pub. date in the 2000s) is Hillais Smith's Keats and Medicine. Good luck, and as much as I hate to admit it, although Keats's IQ score was "off the charts," so to speak, we must all remember he was still a very young man, and I don't doubt he took those small doses of mercury for the more nerfarious reasons. He was medically-trained, and he knew what he was doing (I just wish that ol' Severn and Clark had let him have that laudanum/opium while in Rome. . . !). :( :x
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