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December 24, 1973

The Susannah Shandy Sash Syndrome

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1571. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130059033

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To the Editor.—  Your editorial suggests that (1) somewhere in the medical literature this condition must have been described and that (2) an eponym should be derived for prudish mothers who wish to discuss domestic disasters.A search of the medical literature was fruitless, as usual, However, on Aug 10,1761, Laurence Sterne, a gentleman of the cloth in the Church of England, set down this account of his experience with a nanny named Susannah:—'Twas nothing,—I did not lose two drops of blood by it—'twas not worth calling in a surgeon, had he lived next door to us—thousands suffer by choice, what I did by accident... O 'twould provoke a stone, to see how things are carried on in this world!—The chamber-maid had left no******* ***under the bed:—Cannot you contrive, master, quoth Susannah, lifting up the sash with one hand, as she spoke, and helping me up into the window