MS is a relatively new disease probably first described in 1843 by an English aristocrat Sir Augustus C'Este'. Earlier description of symptoms typical of MS such as Lidwina Von Schiedan of Holland 1880–1933 are considered doubtful.
In order to indentify fictional characters suffering from MS I have first – in 1996-used literary works similar to me; later the internet was searched.
After locating fictional people with MS I have written to the authors themselves or to their publishers inquiring the reason they used MS.
Several of my enquiry letters remained unanswered possibly undelivered-(attempts are now made to obtain the authors correct personal addresses). Sadly one playwright died before answering.
It was encouraging to have received several detailed answers including from some quite famous authors. One took the initiative and telephoned me personally a wonderful opportunity for meaningful discussion.
It emerged that several authors have personally known a family member or a close friend suffering from MS and found it convenient to use first- hand information.
Other authors admitted when a chronic non-fatal disease was needed for a plot-MS was the obvious choice of our times.
A century ago Tuberculosis and Gout were fashionable diseases used in literature when a chronic non-fatal condition was needed. Tuberculosis and Gout are now treatable. Is Multiple Sclerosis more suitable for our times and replaced them?
Started at the end of the first millennium this work is still in progress.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.