The last half of the 19 th century has been described as "the golden age of hysteria". Hysteria was a frequently used diagnosis in this period and received increasing attention from a number of prominent medical researchers, such as Jean-Martin Charcot and Sigmund Freud in Europe and for example Edvard Bull, Paul Winge and Ragnar Vogt in Norway. It also appears in Norwegian fiction by the contemporary writers Henrik Ibsen, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and Amalie Skram. We can thus speak of an exchange between medicine and culture, and of hysteria as a cultural diagnosis that reflects its time. The symptoms are described as comprehensive, and several different etiological models can be traced. Even though hysteria is not exclusively associated with the female body and psyche, it is constructed at the interface of scientific opinion and notions of femininity.