PARISIANS including Marie Antoinette, the wife of King Louis XVI, were in love with a man by the name of Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer.
The Paris press reported the phenomenon as “Mesmeromania.”
The gregarious Dr. Mesmer was wealthy because he married a rich widow, but also because he became a successful Viennese physician.
He lived on a well-appointed estate, and often hosted a twelve-year-old musical prodigy named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Mozart was introduced to Benjamin Franklin’s invention, the “Armonica,” by Mesmer, (who used it to ‘mesmerize’ 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.”