Arrested hydrocephalus and the Round Britain Quiz

In the British Medical Journal (subscription required) Dalrymple recounts the difficult life of the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne:
According to the pathologist William B Ober, who wrote many essays on the pathography of authors, Swinburne experienced anoxic brain damage at birth as a result of his large head (a state of arrested hydrocephalus). This anoxic damage manifested itself in Swinburne’s lifelong choreiform movements, his dysgraphia, tics, and hyperkinesis, as well as in his masochism. Portraits of Swinburne indeed show him as having a massive upper head by comparison with the rest of his body.
The lines quoted above are from “The Triumph of Time,” the long lament that he wrote after his one and only disappointment in love, after which he swore that he would never marry. And he never did. According to Harold Nicolson’s book Swinburne (1926), and other sources, the loved one was Jane Faulkner, the foster daughter of Sir John Simon—surgeon, public health pioneer, and later author of English Sanitary Institutions. Jane was fostered because her mother, Sir John’s sister, had died when she was young.
Sir John, whose sanitary reports were quoted by Karl Marx, kept a literary salon that luminaries such as John Ruskin attended, as did Swinburne. The latter addressed verses to Jane, who was scarcely more than 10 years old at the time. According to legend, he offered to marry her but she laughed at him; there was an altercation between them and he fled the house never to return. He then wrote his poem that quivers with misery: “I shall go my ways, tread out my measure, / Fill the days of my daily breath / With fugitive things not good to treasure . . .”

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