Author: John J. Ross
Title: Shakespeare’s Tremor & Orwell’s Cough
Description: A medical doctor examines existing textual evidence about several different authors (also Milton, Melville, the Brontes, Hawthorne, Swift, etc.) to hypothesize about what was going on medically with them.
Writing style: Most of the selections begin with a fictionalized scenario showing the author interacting with medical personnel and then review the author’s symptoms, describe the diagnoses they were given, and then give a conjecture about how they might be diagnosed/treated today.
Audience: Folks who are interested in literary or medical history.
Major ideas: I found the book most interesting when the illnesses involved mental disorders, since they were often reflected in the authors’ writings.
Wrap-up: I enjoyed this book as something different. 3.5/5*