The Dancing Mania was, in fact, no new disease, but well known in the Middle Ages, of which many wondrous stories were traditionally current among the people.
We learn from Histories, that the first time the Plague was felt here, which was in the Year 1485, it began in the Army, with which King Henry VII. came from France, and landed in Wales.
...and from this mass may be distinctly seen bubbles filled with noxious gas continually evolving.
‘It now struck me that there was certainly much delusion in all this, and that much must be owing to panic and imitation.’
Girls and boys quitted their parents, and servants their masters, to amuse themselves at the dances of those possessed, and greedily imbibed the poison of mental infection.
The poor cobbler’s son was now known and loved throughout all Denmark. But still it was not until several years later that Andersen became really ‘famous.’