The Spectacle of Illusion: Deception, Magic and the Paranormal

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Whether you’re a believer in the paranormal or not, it’s easy to see how magic and spiritualism intermingle. Both are about creating a lasting theatrical experience, both lend themselves to charlatans and fakery, and many of the same tricks (both in execution and debunking) work in both worlds.

But never has there been a more comprehensive look at how illusion can shape your perceptions than in The Spectacle of Illusion, a marvelous visual deep-dive into the parallel worlds of magic and spiritualism, revealing the secrets of both while exploring all of the places they overlap.

With more than a century of spiritualist history to explore, there’s enough material to fill three more volumes like this one, but nonetheless, this is an absolutely fantastic place to start. Chock-a-block with photographs and informational excerpts from rare magical textbooks and collections documenting both the supernatural and attempts to fake the supernatural, many of which I’ve never seen before, this is a magic fan’s dream come true. And for spiritualists with experience or for those just getting started, there’s plenty of history, insight, and documentation to debunk most of the famous claims that made spiritualism a phenomenon in the Victorian era.

Whether you’re fascinated by magic, trickery, or the spiritual realm, The Spectacle of Illusion has something new (and old) to show you.


Reviewed By:

Author Matthew Tompkins
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Wellcome Collection
Publish Date 2019-04-23
ISBN 9781942884378
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category History
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