Friday, 20 August 2010

On Cheryl Cole, malaria....considerations from history.

Doubtless the UK is breathing a sigh of relief that national treasure, Cheryl Cole, has recovered from her recent unpleasant experience of malaria. It is sobering to acknowledge that in the 18th century, one didnt have to journey to exotic parts to catch the illness but the marshes of Essex sufficed.
Daniel Defoe, (author of Robinson Crusoe) indeed met a man who had been married fifteen times; his wives having died at the rate of one a year, from malaria.
As Defoe writes:
'The reason, a merry fellow told me, who said he had had about a dozen and a half wives, wath this; that he being bred in the marshes...and seasoned to the place, did pretty well with it, but he always went up into the uplands for a wife. That when he took the young lasses out of the wholesome and fresh air, they were healthy, fresh and clean and well; but when they camoe out of their native air into the marshes among the fogs and damps, there they presently changed their complexion, got an ague or two,and seldom held it about half a year, or a year at most; and then, said he, he went to the uplands again and fetch another...'

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