Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Elizabeth Siddal

  • A very Victorian drug

    Anita CookeNew Brunswick, Canada On February 14, 1862, the Daily News reported the “Death of a Lady from an Overdose of Laudanum.”1 Four nights earlier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti had discovered his wife, Lizzie, in a coma with an empty bottle of laudanum by her side. Despite efforts from doctors, she died a few hours later.…

  • A picture of ill-health: The illness of Elizabeth Siddal

    Emily BoyleDublin, Ireland It is difficult to think of Ophelia, one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, without bringing to mind the famous depiction of her by John Everett Millais. In Hamlet, the sensitive and fragile Ophelia is driven mad by grief after her lover Hamlet rejects her and kills her father Polonius. After very poetically…