No, this is not some new pandemic, but one dating from the fin de siècle, when five buxom blonde Danish-American sisters swept across Europe with their bawdy vaudeville act. It is also the title of a new book, Barrison Feberen in the original Danish, by historian Hans Henrik Appel. As the cover announces, it is: "The story of Sisters Barrison – the Danish-American pop phenomenon that shook the European cities of the 1890s and challenged the vision of gender, body and morality."
Mr. Appel was generous enough to send me an autographed copy and while I do not speak Danish (let's hope for an English version some day!), it is a beautifully printed and substantial book. It has received excellent reviews from the Danish press, praising both Mr. Appel's extensive scholarship and his story-telling skills. The book is more than a biography about the Barrison sisters, as Mr. Appel also sets the historical scene and cultural context that made it possible for the five sisters to flourish as they challenged the morality and mores of the end of an era. If you are interested in acquiring your own copy of the book, learning more about the sisters, or just want to view more pictures of this coquettish quintet, check out The Barrison Fever website.