Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Rossetti actually died of of 'Brights Disease', a disease of the kidneys of which he had been suffering for some time. However he consumed large amounts of chloral and whisky - a awful combination. Ironic he took this after the lesson learnt from Lizzie's addiction to laudanum (died 1862). Jane was shocked at the huge amounts he took towards the end of his life.
"In the late '60s Rossetti began to suffer from headaches and weakened eyesight, and began to take chloral mixed with whiskey to cure insomnia. Chloral accentuated the depression and paranoia latent in Rossetti's nature, and Robert Buchanan's attack on Rossetti and Swinburne in "The Fleshly School of Poetry" (1871) changed him completely. In the summer of 1872 he suffered a mental breakdown, complete with hallucinations and accusing voices. He was taken to Scotland, where he attempted suicide, but gradually recovered, and within a few months was able to paint again. His health continued to deteriorate slowly (he was still taking chloral), but did not much interfere with his work."
[Antique pre-1900 Amber Apothecary Glass Bottle Jar Chloral. Hydrat.
Bottle: 3 3/8 " tall x 1 3/4 x 1 3/4]