Bill Cutler makes the case that my agnosticism about the alleged cause
of Beethoven's death is unwarrented:
>coupled with the knowledge that Beethoven drank from a favoured lead
>cup. While not 100% conclusive, it presents evidence strong enough
>to convince most juries or at least the ones portrayed on TV's Law and
>Order. Add to this the 19th century corporate-conspiracy theory of wine
>laced with lead to make it taste like fine-aged vintages posited by
>Nicholas J. Yasillo and we have ourselves a lead-pipe (I mean lead-cup)
>cinch that Beethoven was lead belly.
A few questions remain. Was lead commonly used for wine cups or was this
a peculiarity of Beethoven's? Is it possible to test a sample of other
remains of the same period? Such a study might serve as a kind of
control. But in the final analysis, who really cares?
Incidentally, despite my reservations, I have decided to replace my
beloved lead wine cup- perhaps with something in selenium.