PARISIANS including the wife of King Louis XVI, Queen Marie Antoinette, were in love with a man by the name of Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer.
“Mesmeromania” is how the Paris press reported it.
Dr. Mesmer was rich in part because he married a rich widow, but also because he became a successful Viennese physician.
He lived on a well-appointed estate and hosted the then young twelve-year-old musical prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Mozart was introduced to Benjamin Franklin’s invention, the “Armonica,” by Mesmer, (who used it to ‘mesmerize’ and heal his patients.)
The young Mozart composed a musical piece for Mesmer’s “Glass Armonica,” and later wrote a solo armonica piece, and a larger quintet for armonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello.
Mesmer was the darling of Parisian Elite Society in the 1780’s, a confidant of the super rich and super powerful.
All over Paris, people were throwing themselves under trees Mesmer had ‘mesmerized.’ They would flail, convulse, scream and claim healing. Mesmer said he had a healing power in his hands he called “Animal Magnetism.”