M pointed me today to a news story from the BBC entitled Why heroines die in classic fiction. It's a light look at what might have actually caused the serious illnesses that are described in works of the past.
As we have gained Pickwickian syndrome from Dickens, it obviously does us good to at least consider the symptoms described. I would have liked to see a little more meat to this article though. It rushes through the diseases possible and gives one only a glancing suggestion at what might have been wrong.
Still, it's good to know more was wrong with Marianne than wet slippers.