“Elizabeth had caught the scarlet fever; her illness was severe, and she was in the greatest danger.” (pg. 28)
Scarlet fever is strep throat accompanied by a red-colored rash. Not all people who contract strep throat get the rash that lends it name to scarlet fever. The red rash usually begins on the tongue (giving the appearance of having strawberry-colored spots on the tongue) and then spreads over the chest and abdomen. Scarlet fever is no longer a serious risk to children and adults due to the invention of antibiotics, but during the 19th century scarlet fever was often a death sentence, hence the fear of Victor’s family and the death of his mother from the fever.