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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 36

Monet’s Cataracts

When great art meets modern medicine.
Words by Ben Shattuck. Photograph by Francesco Brigida.

The princess in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea might have had fibromyalgia syndrome, according to two researchers in Stockholm. The chronic sleep disturbance and musculoskeletal pain common in FMS patients aligns with the restless nights that the fairy tale attributes to royal hypersensitivity. A princess is so delicate, the story goes, that even a little nub under a mountain of eiderdown would keep her awake. But the Swedish researchers say she wasn’t just a spoiled royal, she


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six

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