Paradise Lost and Scurvy Found

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Sudden sounds, such as the report of a musket or a cannon, were well known to kill scorbutic sailors. Even pleasant stimuli such as a drink of fresh water, or a long-awaited taste of fruit, could provoke a seizure and put an end to their lives.

For The Public Domain Review, Jonathan Lamb looks at how early explorers experiencing an extraordinary heightening of the senses (a symptom of scurvy) mirrored the fate of Adam in Paradise Lost.


P.E. Garcia is an Editor-at-Large for the Rumpus and a contributor to HTMLGiant. They currently live in Philadelphia, where they were recently accidentally elected to be Judge of Elections. Find them on Twitter: @AvantGarcia. More from this author →