《中英對照讀新聞》Jane Austen ’died from arsenic poisoning’ 珍奧斯汀死於砒霜中毒
Almost 200 years after she died, Jane Austen’s early death at the age of just 41 has been attributed to many things, from cancer to Addison’s disease. Now sleuthing from a crime novelist has uncovered a new possibility： arsenic poisoning.
Author Lindsay Ashford moved to Austen’s village of Chawton three years ago. She soon became engrossed in old volumes of Austen’s letters, and one morning spotted a sentence Austen wrote just a few months before she died："I am considerably better now and am recovering my looks a little, which have been bad enough, black and white and every wrong colour."
Having researched modern forensic techniques and poisons for her crime novels, Ashford immediately realised the symptoms could be ascribed to arsenic poisoning, which can cause "raindrop" pigmentation, where patches of skin go brown or black, and other areas go white.
Professor Janet Todd, editor for the Cambridge edition of Jane Austen, said that murder was implausible. "I doubt very much she would have been poisoned intentionally. I think it’s very unlikely. But the possibility she had arsenic for rheumatism, say, is quite likely."
engross：動詞，使人全神貫注、吸引。例句：He’s engrossed in his work.（他專心工作。）
ascribe to：歸因於…、認為…是。例句：He ascribed his success to hard work.（他把自己的成就歸功於自己的努力。）
implausible：形容詞，不合情理，難以置信。例句：Though her alibi seemed implausible, it in fact turned out to be true.（儘管她的不在場證明看似不合情理，但結果卻是真的。）