From the ages of two to nine years, the sisters were exhibited in Holland, Germany, England, France, Italy and Poland. They became talented singers and spoke Hungarian, High Dutch, German, French and some English. During their 7-year exhibition career, they were examined by all the top scientists of Europe and all aspects of their bodies and personalities described in great detail. They were the subject of many songs, poems, and philosophical musings, including a poem by Alexander Pope.
Judith, perhaps due to her delayed birth, was sicklier than her twin. At the age of six she suffered a stroke, leading to paralysis of the left side of her body. After this, she was "left ever weaker, less active, and apathetic." Helen, on the other hand, remained "active, sprightly and intelligent". The pair suffered measles and smallpox simultaneously, but experienced other illnesses at different times. Judith sometimes "convulsed" (seizured?) while Helen remained unaffected. They slept and became hungry and thirsty at separate times and shared no sensations.
At the age of nine, Helen and Judith were placed in the convent of the nuns of St. Ursula in Presburg, Hungary, where they would remain for the rest of their lives. In 1923, Judith fell gravely ill with "disease of the brain and lungs". Helen remained well at first, but soon developed a fever. On February 8, 1723, the twins died at almost the exact same time. They were laid to rest in the churchyard of the convent.
(From a poem engraved by a Hungarian physician on a statue of the sisters, translated from Latin by Fisher)
Updated 4.2.2006. Source: G.J. Fisher, M.D., "Diploteratology", from Transactions of the New York State Medical Society, 1866, p. 207. Paul Colston Collection.