Was Jane Austen murdered?

Goodness, I hope not.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/15/jane-austen-death-murder_n_1095160.html?ref=authors

But I'm certainly interested in the new novel on the subject: The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen.

Should any of you feel like killing off famous historical figures in your novels, note that it wasn't until 1836 that human bodies could be tested to see whether they contained arsenic.

Lots of opportunity. Now you just need a motive.

Disclaimer: Just to be clear, GK does not approve of murder, unless it is fictional.

If you had my crazy slushpile, you'd use these disclaimers, too.


Josin L. McQuein said...

Meh. Arsenic was used for medicinal purposes more than it was murder. Like as not she accidentally overdosed.

Agency Gatekeeper said...

That would be seriously unfortunate. Literary genius killed by inability to calculate dosage. Oh. It hurts.

Rowenna said...

I saw this recently and read with great interest, partially because (no joke!) I had arsenic poisoning once! It was a most unpleasant experience. A friend of mine mentioned that the theory was unlikely because arsenic and other heavy metals linger and gather in hair--which is what was tested--making the results higher than they would have been from the same person alive. Sciency thing I don't understand. But yes. Fascinating stuff.

Amie McCracken said...

I just heard about this. Strange to think. It's like one of those alternate history stories where Hitler wins has come to life!