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24186. . . or maybe he didn't.

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  • John Rateliff
    Mar 29, 2013
      Looks like THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY (2004, v. 59, p.146) is wrong about Charles Williams being the survivor of a pair of twins. Dug out my copy of Hadfield today and find it's his father, not Wms himself, who was a twin.  Hadfield also identifies Wms' specific ailment (intussusception) for which he had the two operations (in 1933, which he recovered from, and 1945, when he didn't). 
         Which raises a second, probably unanswerable question: why were Lewis et al so cavalier about Wms' hospitalization that none of them even bothered to go by and see him in the days between his hospitalization and death? Lewis is emphatic about how utterly surprised he was by Wms' death, but you'd think a man in his mid-fifties being rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, his wife being sent for, etc.  wd have set off a few alarm bells.  Was Lewis simply that clueless about health matters? Given his wrecking his own health and bringing about his own early death by his refusal to get his prostate treated, and comments he makes about his wife's remission, I'm inclined to think so. Or maybe everybody was just distracted by the end of the War.

      On Mar 28, 2013, at 2:30 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:

      Just like Elvis. . . and Liberace . . . and Philip K. Dick (well, his twin sister died at five weeks).  And that shouldn't be surprising, since they're all . . . um . . . um . . . Could someone fill in something here?

      So, today I found out that Charles Williams was a twin, but his infant sibling did not survive. 
      That seems to me to be a stunning thing not to know about someone, particularly someone I've read a good deal about and written on as well. Is this something that's well known in Wms circles and I just somehow always missed it? 
      I also learned what Wms died of -- that is, what he'd gone in to have the operation for, which most accounts had been oddly vague on. Now that I know it was for "recurrence of intussusception", leading to "acute intestinal obstruction". Who knew?


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