Move forward a couple of weeks, and Sylvia (my mother-in-law) produced this book yesterday, which is fascinating. She thinks she may have bought it as a gift for someone, but decided to keep it as it was so interesting. The book talks about William Pitt, giving a background to his 'unspecified poor health', and it seems that he probably drank himself to death.
Here is a blurb about the book from the ABC shop website:
Throughout history, one thing has been certain: even famous and important people suffer embarrassing, painful and even debilitating illnesses.
What's not been agreed is exactly what medical maladies have tormented many of them. In Mere Mortals, Jim Leavesley has delved into the history books and attempted to solve some of the world's most baffling medical mysteries, offering priceless snippets along the way.
For instance, could Joan of Arc in fact have been John? Was Adolf Hitler really a chronic farter? Why did Van Gogh so favour the colour yellow? Frighteningly addictive, Mere Mortals will have you hooked from the start.
Jim Leavesley is a retired GP, author and regular contributor to ABC Radio National's Ockham's Razor program. In 1993 he was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for sevices to medicine, in particular to medical history.