Malia wrote:I think the only *good* thing that came out of Fanny Keats's imprisonment at Abbey's was that she was kept from contagion. Had she been able to live with her brothers (or see them much, much more frequently) she, too, might have contracted TB.
That , of course, may be true. But how can we explain Fanny Brawne's situation? We know she nursed John when he lived with the Brawne's prior to his departure from Hampstead (and had closer contact with him before consumption reared its ugly head -- nothing more than innocent kisses, of course, but still. . .
It can only be that some people are predisposed to contract the disease.?
Well, from what I know of TB, you need to be exposed to it at least twice in order to have a chance at active infection. Also, from Keats's case, a weakened immune system can play a part in turning TB from a dormant to an active case.
Also, people are individuals; some people have stronger overall constitutions. Fanny Brawne might have been one of those people. It is amazing, though, that she could avoid active infection, especially with her chronic asthma.
Malia wrote:At least one biographer says she had what was thought to be chronic asthma; I believe it was Aileen Ward. I'm sure I read it in other bios, too.
Ennis wrote: Rapahael, I'm sure it wasn't limited to chaste kisses on the cheeks, but based on his other comment, to brown, it wasn't too much more than kissing (and perhaps some fondling, but I'm getting into an area I'm not too sure we need to be "discussing" now. I'm in school [next to the last day] and kids are hanging over my shoulder).
I'm at school (again) and didn't think to bring my biography of Fanny Brawne by Richardson, so I can't give you any source notes. I'll try to check on this when I get home and log-on, using my brother's computer (I don't have one at home), and let you know. I believe it was also Richardson's biography that says Fanny died from angina pectoris, complicated by her asthma. Which makes sense. According to my dictionary, angina pectoris is "a heart condition mark by brief recurrent attacks of intense chest pain caused by insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart muscles by the blood" (had to look it up in my dictionary -- didn't know what it was, just remembered reading that's how Fanny died).
Both of my brothers have asthma and neither one of them had, or still have, trouble with colds. They were bothered most with allergies, especially my older brother and cat fur!!
Also, remember when he left her for Shanklin that summer of 1819, he writes her and mentions how he hoped she was feeling better . . . maybe that was asthma-related (and I'm not really too sure I have the correct timing of that particular letter. If someone "out there" who has access to his letters would check . . . ).
We are missing so much by not having Fanny's letters to John
although if we did (and believe me, I sure wish we did!!), I'm afraid I'd feel more like a voyeur that I already do when I read his letters to her.
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