Hype, Spleen, Vapours and Spinal Irritation; the Hystery of Unexplained Illness

This talk documents the history of ideas concerning illnesses that have no obvious pathological explanation from classical antiquity to the current day, charting a course from the wandering womb, retained menses to hormonal imbalance and from melancholia through irritable weakness to M.E, concluding that we are not suffering from a multiplicity of unexplained illness, but from an ancient concept of disease that can be configured by the culture and manifests itself in different forms.