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Mozart Mortality: Multiple Choice

Posted at 12:58 PM on August 24, 2010 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Fun finds, In the media, Musician stories

OK, class. The death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was caused by:

a. Poisoning
b. Infection
c. Cardiovascular disease
d. Kidney failure
e. Other

What's the right answer? Actually, there's no clear consensus, but one researcher has at least grouped the various conjectures--over 100 of them-- into the five main categories above. Check out this New York Times article for all the theories that are fit to print. (Registration required.)

(By the way: the Austrian National Library has put a huge amount of its newspaper holdings online, going back to the 18th century. You can go to this page to see the death notice for "Hr. Wolf. Amadeus Mozart" on December 5, 1791, the fifth line down. It's in the old blackletter type--harder to read, but for modern eyes, it only adds to the somber mood.)