July 14, 2004

The Arsenic Poisoning of King George

At heart, I think a lot of historians would like to see their research as detective work: there's a certain thrill to that sort of labor, after all, even if it doesn't really represent what historians do. I was reminded of this fact earlier today when I found a link, via the Little Professor, to this intriguing BBC story about Britain's King George III. A recently discovered royal hair sample was filled with arsenic, over 300 times the smallest toxic level, which led researchers to a surprising conclusion: the very treatments that were meant to stop the king's madness helped trigger his porphyria and bring about his attacks.

Posted by Ed at July 14, 2004 09:58 AM
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