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Authors with Epilepsy March 28, 2011

Posted by Jaidis in Epilepsy Awareness.
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Continuing on my journey to spread Epilepsy Awareness…and because this is a book blog…I thought it would be cool to tell you about some famous authors who were believed to have Epilepsy :)

Starting off is none other than Agatha Christie! I’m sure you all have heard that name before! Agatha Christie was an English crime fiction writer. She is world-famous for her brilliantly crafted mysteries, but is best remembered for her 80 detective novels and her successful West End theatre plays. She also wrote romance novels under the name Mary Westmacott.

Next up is Charles Dickens! Dickens was the foremost English novelist of the Victorian era, as well a vigorous social campaigner. He is the author of the classics A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist…and let’s face it: We have all heard of A Christmas Carol. Several of the characters in works written by Dickens had epilepsy. The medical accuracy of Dickens’s description of epilepsy has amazed the doctors who read him today. Through some characters in his novels, Charles Dickens recorded observations on the nature of epileptic seizures, their causes and provocation, and their consequences.

Another author you may recognize is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. Don’t recognize that name? Maybe you will recognize his pen name…Lewis Carroll. It is believed that in his famous stories Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, he was writing about his own temporal lobe seizures. The very sensation initiating Alice’s adventures, that of falling down a hole, is a familiar one to many people with seizures. Alice often feels that her own body (or the objects around her) are shrinking or growing before her eyes, which can be another seizure symptom.

Edgar Allen Poe is another author who may have had epilepsy. He is best known for his macabre and mysteries and is the one who invented the Detective-Fiction genre. For many years, people have referred his mental problems to alcohol and drug abuse, but today many believe that he was not well diagnosed. Many now believe he may have been epileptic which would sometimes explain his frequent confusion. Maybe his alcohol and drug abuse problems just enhanced the epilepsy symptoms.

Truman Capote was an American writer whose stories are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood. Capote is believed to have induced epilepsy himself by abusing his nervous system with drugs and booze, but regardless of why he had epilepsy, he is a fantastic writer and that is why I have included him in this list.

Moral of this post: Just because a person has Epilepsy, doesn’t mean that they can’t accomplish something wonderful! Or in this case, write some amazing novels!


There is still some time left to enter my Epilepsy Awareness Giveaway! Please consider sharing this giveaway with friends. It is for a great cause :)

Check out my guest post over at The Back Seat Writer to earn an extra entry!

Happy Reading,




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