Tag Archives: Emily Boyle

“Scarlet letters”—the depiction of scarlet fever in literature

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Fig 1 Image from page 291 of Diseases of children for nurses. by Robert Shelmerdine McCombs. 1911. Internet Archive. Scarlet fever, named for the erythematous skin rash that may accompany streptococcal infections (Fig 1), is often considered a disease of Victorian times. Associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality […]

Bad blood: the drama of bloodshed

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Lucia’s mad scene – Rachelle Durkin as Lucia during The Chautauqua Opera’s dress rehearsal for Lucia di Lammermoor. Photo by Michelle Kanaar In some professions, bloodstained clothing is a normal part of the job. The two jobs that come to mind principally are a butcher and a vascular surgeon, although […]

A picture of ill-health: the illness of Elizabeth Siddal

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Fig. 1 Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais 1851-2, Tate Britain, London 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 […]

The art of consumption – TB and John Lavery

Emily Boyle Belfast, Northern Ireland   1. “The sick child” Tuberculosis, (TB) is often regarded as a historical disease—in the 1880’s it caused a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Mortality rates from TB fell by 17% between 2005 and 2015,1 but it remains an important health concern. Worldwide it is still the second most […]

The heart of Giselle

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland Carlotta Grisi as the first Giselle in 1841 The ballet Giselle may be one of the most sublime examples of the art form. Rightfully a classic, it forms a staple part of the repertoire and is performed on a regular basis worldwide. It is certainly a ballet of two halves, with […]