What killed Mary Hogarth?

Charles Dicken’s had a sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth, whom he was very close with. She suddenly died, at the age of 17,in 1836. What killed her?

I have searched all over the internet, and cant find the answer. If you know the answer, please post it. If you can provide a link to the answer, that would be even better.

Here is an article about Dickens at wikipedia (to refresh your memory)


Jane Smiley’s biography of Dickens says only that Jane Hogarth died “after an illness of only a few days.”

Diane Stanley’s biography of Dickens differs: “One evening, shortly after she came to live with them [the Dickens], Mary suffered a sudden heart attack. The following afternoon, she died in Charles’s arms.”

Peter Ackroyd’s biography expands on that:

I figured it was a stroke. Its unusual for someone to scream out, if they have a heart-attack.

Then again, both a stroke and a heart-attack are extremely unusual for 17 year old woman.

You’re welcome.

If Mary had contracted Scarlet Fever (an advanced form of strep throat) earlier in her life, it might well have damaged her heart enough for her to suffer a heart attack at 17. Louisa May Alcott’s sister Elizabeth died of heart disease at a young age due to this.