And in this manner he died

In the British Medical Journal (subscription required) Dalrymple relates the story of a controversial biography:
Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of Charlotte Brontë, published in 1857, two years after its subject’s death, caused a controversy and produced the threat of several libel actions (there were changes to the second edition). One of the reasons for the controversy was Mrs Gaskell’s description of Miss Brontë’s death, which was thought at the time to be indecently graphic. Recently married, Charlotte Brontë was pregnant:
She was attacked by new sensations of perpetual nausea, and ever-recurring faintness . . . A wren would have starved on what she ate during those last six weeks . . . Martha [her maid] tenderly waited on her . . . and from time to time tried to cheer her with the thought of the baby that was coming.
From this it seems that she died of hyperemesis gravidarum (BMJ 2012;344:e567, doi:10.1136/bmj.e567), though her death certificate said phthisis, which is certainly what her sisters Emily and Anne died of. These two sisters had a distinctively different attitude to medical attention: Emily refused it completely; Anne accepted it. Of Emily, Charlotte wrote only eight days before her death, “her repugnance to seeing a medical man continues immutable­,—as she declares ‘no poisoning doctor’ shall come near her.”

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