The dancing plague: the strange, true story of an extraordinary illness

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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.

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Grouped Work ID a9fe2c52-a39b-601a-4560-be2ef93ad53e
full_title dancing plague the strange true story of an extraordinary illness
author waller john
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:54AM

Solr Details

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author Waller, John, 1972-
author-letter Waller, John,
author_additional John Waller.
author_display Waller, John
availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
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callnumber-first R - Medicine
callnumber-subject RC - Internal Medicine
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collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
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local_callnumber_exact_arlington 362.19683 WALLE
local_callnumber_left_arlington 362.19683 WALLE
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oclc (OCoLC)312444778
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
physical 278 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm.
popularity 2
primary_isbn 9781402219436
publishDate 2009
publishDateSort 2009
publisher Sourcebooks,
rating 2.5
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record_details ils:.b13257067|Book|Books||English|Sourcebooks,|c2009.|278 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm.
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subject_facet Strasbourg (France) -- Biography, Strasbourg (France) -- Social conditions -- 16th century
table_of_contents Signs of the times -- Plagues and priests -- Hard times -- The mystery of Frau Troffea's dance -- Trance fever -- Of music and hot blood -- Lords of the dance -- Volte-face -- Holy magic -- Aftermath -- Death of a curse -- Charcot's error.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The dancing plague : the strange, true story of an extraordinary illness
title_alt Time to dance, a time to die.
title_display The dancing plague : the strange, true story of an extraordinary illness
title_full The dancing plague : the strange, true story of an extraordinary illness / John Waller
title_short The dancing plague :
title_sort dancing plague the strange, true story of an extraordinary illness
title_sub the strange, true story of an extraordinary illness