in fact, she has lost the use of her limbs.'

Category: Mind | Type: Discussion | Title: David Copperfield (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: My Aunt Astonishes Me

A damp climate does not induce paralysis. Having born ten children in straitened circumstances, the mother is exhausted. (Mrs. Dickens suffered post partum depression, sometimes severe.) Relief comes in the form of a psychosomatic illness of the sort that afflicted Elizabeth Barrett, which defended her against her domineering father. She became immobile and confined to her bed until she was wooed by and eloped with Robert Browning. 

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