The Dancing Plague: The Strange, True Story of an Extraordinary Illness
A gripping tale of one of history's most bizarre events, and what it reveals about the strange possibilities of human nature In the searing July heat of 1518, Frau Troffea stepped into the streets of Strasbourg and began to dance. Bathed in sweat, she continued to dance. Overcome with exhaustion,... show more
A gripping tale of one of history's most bizarre events, and what it reveals about the strange possibilities of human nature In the searing July heat of 1518, Frau Troffea stepped into the streets of Strasbourg and began to dance. Bathed in sweat, she continued to dance. Overcome with exhaustion, she stopped, and then resumed her solitary jig a few hours later. Over the next two months, roughly four hundred people succumbed to the same agonizing compulsion. At its peak, the epidemic claimed the lives of fifteen men, women, and children a day. Possibly 100 people danced to their deaths in one of the most bizarre and terrifying plagues in history. John Waller compellingly evokes the sights, sounds, and aromas; the diseases and hardships; the fervent supernaturalism and the desperate hedonism of the late medieval world. Based on new evidence, he explains why the plague occurred and how it came to an end. In doing so, he sheds light on the strangest capabilities of the human mind and on our own susceptibility to mass hysteria. (20090615)
Publish date: September 1st 2009
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
An interesting look at the year 1518, the year a woman began to dance and didn't stop for days. Others joined her and soon many many people were overtaken by this strange plague. A look back at the ever present threat of starvation due to famine, the corruption of the church who instead of helping t...
John Waller wrote a book about the dancing plague of 1518. If you are like me and the majority of people, you have not heard of the dancing plague of 1518 but as soon as you read on the back cover that in 1518 in Strasbourg dozens of people danced themselves to death you immediately want to know 'wh...