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Lord Byron, Anorexic

In Writers on June 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Well…maybe.  According to Andrew Crisp, an emiritus professor of psychiatry at St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London, the poet Lord Byron suffered from severe anorexia nervosa.  In an article in The Independent, Crisp says Byron’s weight varied wildly, from a high of 204 pounds to a low of 136.

“Don’t you think I get thinner?” Byron said to one correspondent. “I am as thin as a skeleton – thinner than you saw me at my first arrival in Venice and thinner than yourself.”

Byron asked for just “hard biscuits and soda water” when dining out. When these were not available he ate potatoes drenched in vinegar. By 1821 he said he could not eat more than once a day, took quantities of vinegar to lessen his appetite and dosed himself with Epsom salts, magnesia and strong laxatives.


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