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I: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic

Further information on this digital resource can be found on our website www.amdigital.co.uk.

The Victorian Popular Culture Portal is comprised of three seperate sections that can be purchased individually:

  • Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic
  • Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks
  • Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment

This is a resource that students and researchers will love. Taking its cue from the source material, the innovative portal interface welcomes readers into the darkened halls, small backrooms and travelling venues that hosted everything from spectacular shows and bawdy burlesque, to the world of magic and spiritualist séances.

It describes popular entertainment in America, Britain and Europe in the period from 1779 to 1930 and shows how interconnected these worlds were.

The first self-contained cluster of materials deals with ‘Sensation, Magic & Spiritualism’, and is based on two major resources:

  • Entertaining the Supernatural: Rare printed sources from the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature at Senate House, University of London

  • The History of Magic Scrapbooks from the Houdini Collection with related material from the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

This resource will be of interest to students of English, History, Drama and Cultural Studies and will be an essential teaching and research tool for all those interested in:

  • Stage Magic and Conjuring
  • Levitation, Escapology and Illusion
  • Card Tricks and Parlour Magic
  • Animal Magnetism, Mesmerism and Hypnosis
  • Psychic Phenomena and Parapsychology
  • Séances, spirit writing and ghost hunting
  • A detailed introductory essay by Dr Peter Otto of the University of Melbourne introduces the contents of the collections and suggests fruitful areas for research.

Victorian Popular Culture: A Portal


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