The lineaments of the consumptive hero of Dumas and Bourgeois, bracing his disintegrating body and adoring soul for a final struggle, are clear in Thackeray's representation of the man who will lead the successful British assault on the French army at the Plains of Abraham and die in the process.
Already, however, fissures in this martial persona prepared Wolfe for his later assumption of the consumptive hero's mantle.
Add to this the fact that Wolfe himself had once alluded satirically to his own "meagre, consumptive, decaying figure" (Wilson 246), and he was clearly prime material for consumptive hero status.
Vital aspects of Wolfe's biography undoubtedly fitted the lineaments of the consumptive hero, and a century after his death he was ripe for rebranding via this chic new persona.
These potentially conciliatory implications of the consumptive hero's persona bring us closer to answering the question that began this essay: why Wilfrid Laurier, a successful politician in late nineteenth-century Canada, might consent to be portrayed as apoitrinaire in the Romantic mold.
Still, he never quite abandoned the aura of the consumptive hero.
By the late nineteenth century, the notion that consumptive symptoms were actions that a man might play had become widespread.
Sterne 'set the wheels a-going', but was no more in control of the eventual outcome than any other serial writer subject to the general contingencies of life, and certainly no more than any other consumptive writer: Keats, to take the obvious example, was forced to stop writing a year before he died.
Despite the general logic of accidental and 'diseased' narrative time, Sterne does seem to have attempted to imagine both a peaceful consumptive good death and an orderly narrative in the Yorick episode of the first volume, a point at which Sterne was still finding his modus operandi for Tristram Shandy.
If one ignores the level of consumptive time in the novel, then this last conclusion is true, but for Sterne and the various characters that function as consumptive alter egos, consumption plays a major part in the entire book.
Consumption was a convenient disease for a broken heart; the symptoms of lovers suffering from broken hearts traditionally overlapped with those of the consumptive, the generalized wasting away being common to both as Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy made clear in its descriptions of love melancholy.
33] Among the gloomy prognoses regarding the outcome of a consumption, for example, doctors were always ready to contradict themselves in the hope of selling themselves or their books: after his largely pessimistic attitude throughout most of his tome, Stephens (to name but one) proceeds to offer hope to his patients and readers by claiming that something can be done for the consumptive, while anticipating that he will be sneered at by his fellow physicians for such an assertion (Treatise on Consumptions, pp.