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|I did read...
Written by LouAnn
(2/26/2003 12:26 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, MT: JA's mother, the hypochrondriac?, penned by Leonore
] I read one essay which claimed that while JA was dying of (probably) Addison's disease, she was writing Persuasion "in a race against failing health. She wrote propped up on the sofa, while her mother monopolized the bed."
] The implication is that Jane's mother was a hypochrondriac who selfishly demanded comfort and attention at the expense of the much sicker Jane.
] Any references for or against this assertion?
I did read that Jane Austen's letters to Cassandra sometimes made reference to Mrs Austen complaining about her health, though she could eat and sleep just fine.
What I understood about JA's illness was that her mother got the sofa and Jane would lay on two chairs pushed together to make her a little 'sofa.' One author said it wasn't clear whether Mother got the sofa because she was a selfish hypochronriac, or whether JA would refuse to lie on it because it would mean she was acting sickly, and she just wouldn't do that because she didn't want to be like her mother.
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