Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Jane died in 1914 but its easy to forget that the children lived till much later. May died in 1938 and poor Jenny in 1935. She left 62 volumes dedicated to her by her father to the Fitzwilliam.
I think that Fiona McCarthy underrates the influence of Jenny in the lives of William and Jane. Her illness prevented her doing much but their letters are full of Jenny who absolutely adored William and when at home was referred to as constantly by his side.
Her illness is usually referred to as 'brain fever' and at that time could not be diagnosed or treated properly. It seems to be more than fits and at times she recovers for a while (she seems to have been worse in the Winter), at other times she is bad for 18 months. Jane had several breakdowns because of Jenny, and it undermined William.