The Fashionable Science of Parlour Magic

  • Intro
    Museum's Description
    Teacher notes
    • Do you believe in magic? The author of this book certainly did not.

      In his books John Henry Anderson, otherwise known as the 'Wizard of the North' uses his knowledge of magic tricks to debunk the popular beliefs in spiritualism and magic.

      Spiritualism, the belief that the living could contact the dead, became popular in England in the mid 19th Century. Many people performed events known as 'a séance' where they would attempt to contact the spirit world through things like furniture. The piece of furniture would appear to miraculously rise and move and people believed this was because the spirits were speaking to them.

      Anderson knew that this all a hoax because he was a popular magician for over 20 years. In 1854 he decided to focus his work on exposing spiritualist frauds and teaching people to recognise tricks and hoaxes. This book is part of that effort and it explains how magicians and spiritualists perform many of their tricks.

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