Allergies in the 19th century


It worries me when you're so quiet, Amy. You still haven't told me what happened when the gentleman caller came to the house you live in - the house in the 19th century.
He met with Charlotte in the parlour, just as you sneakily planned,  isn't that right?

siting room.jpg

Okay, so you left the gentleman caller waiting in the parlour while Charlotte put on a pair of gloves. And you told Charlotte not to disclose to him that she's actually a simple maid in that very house and that she's missing two fingers? And she seemed to agree?
And then?

And then she said she was going to the kitchen to get some tea for the two of them. 
He asked her why the maid couldn't bring them the tea. And I stood frozen at the doorway, hoping over and over again that she would be able to lie, just a little , like I told her to.  

That's not a little lie you wanted her to say, Amy. How did she answer him?

She said, "I realize you have come a far distance to meet with me and I can tell you are a fine gentleman. Therefore, I feel it is necessary for me to communicate to you the utmost truth regarding your visit."

Oh, no. How terribly sad for Charlotte. But how inspiring that she only wanted to be truthful.


Um, that's not exactly what happened. I mean, she started to tell him the truth, but then the cat scurried by me and ran into the parlour.

The cat? What does the cat have to do with anything?

Huh? You're telling me that the gentleman caller was allergic to the cat? He started sneezing before Charlotte had the chance to have a conversation with him? He left without hearing what she was going to tell him? He said he would arrange for her to meet with him elsewhere? He said he would get in touch with the lady and master of the house about another visit with her? He thinks they're her parents?

I honestly don't know whether to laugh or cry at this point, Amy.

Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to tree, grass and weed pollens, along with animal hair and dander, dust mites and mould. Typical symptoms are sneezing, tearing, itching and redness of the eyes along with swelling of the  nasal passages and runny nose.
In 1565 Leonardo Botallo, a well-known anatomist, was the first European to describe the symptoms of allergies. He documented a collection of symptoms such as headache, sneezing and and itchy nose. 
Around the mid-1800s when you currently exist, American Dr. Morrill Wyman is postulating the theory that  allergic rhinitis is a disease of a privileged society. He is also theorizing that trains are a large part of the problem, citing smoke and dust a train incurs.

Coming from his research in the field of immunology  in Vienna, Dr. Clemens von Pirquet (1874 - 1929) will soon coin the word allergy from the Greek allos meaning "other" and ergon meaning "reaction" to describe these sensitivities.

In the 1900s, more physicians will become interested in allergies, and will experiment with immunizations against seasonal allergic rhinitis to form a basis for immunotherapy.