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|They insist also on my seeing Mr. Jones
Written by Stephanie
(4/13/2010 10:24 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I think, penned by Merrie B.
I have heard it said before that Author Austen's great talent for rendition of human truisms was shown off by how few 'events' (meaning outside excitements, like kidnappings, or runaway horses) were needed to keep her readers enthralled through the plot. But perhaps even SHE needed SOME. And a nice head cold might have been just the ticket! The plethora of colds you are imagining might not be as common as you would think from a literary analysis of young ladies' constitutions...
Seriously, you can get uncomfortable from a wetting, but colds come from virii (or less commonly, bacteria). If you live in a small market town, everyone is exposed to the same microbes, more or less, until the next slight mutation. Then some outside influence (like the arrival of Bingley party), or a trip of your own outside your usual set exposes you to germ-life to which you are not immune, and it takes some time to balance the scales again.
I do think that EVERYTHING was called a cold back then. Everyone who had allergies, who was prone to sinus pain during the dry winter months, everyone whose bad dental hygiene increased their chances of sore throats... The poor pharmacists, who had to attempt to cure a thousand complaints all called by the same name!
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