Shakespeare and the Syph — Comic Superhero Duo or Freakishly Literary VD?

Did Shakespeare Have Syphilis? | PBS NewsHour.

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A report from the NewsHour on possible illnesses of famous literary figures. There’s a new book out, natch. Whenever you think about the follies and foibles of modern medicine, think about this:

[John] Milton is known to have “dabbled in physic,” or taken popular medicines of the day in a failed attempt to save his eyesight. These may have included “mummy” (ground-up human bones or flesh), human sweat, cat-ointment, oil of puppies, and sugar of lead, the last of which may have led to Milton’s gout and kidney failure.

OIL OF PUPPIES???

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