Did the Bard Have Syphilis?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0073 Friday, 14 January 2005
From: William Walsh <
Date: Thursday, 13 Jan 2005 09:22:12 -0500
Subject: Did the Bard Have Syphilis?
This may be of interest to some. From the abstract of an article by
John J. Ross in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases:
This article examines the possibility that Shakespeare received
successful treatment for syphilis and advances the following new
hypothesis: Shakespeare's late-life decrease in artistic production,
tremor, social withdrawal, and alopecia were due to mercury poisoning
from syphilis treatment. He may also have had anasarca due to
mercury-related membranous nephropathy. This medical misadventure may
have prematurely ended the career of the greatest writer in the English
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