The witch of Lime Street: séance, seduction, and Houdini in the spirit world

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Description

History comes alive in this textured account of the rivalry between Harry Houdini and the so-called Witch of Lime Street, whose iconic lives intersected at a time when science was on the verge of embracing the paranormal.

The 1920s are famous as the golden age of jazz and glamour, but it was also an era of fevered yearning for communion with the spirit world, after the loss of tens of millions in the First World War and the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with dead loved ones precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics--and, as reputable media sought stories on occult phenomena, mediums became celebrities.

Against this backdrop, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery's powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American and offering a large cash prize to the first medium declared authentic by its impressive five-man investigative committee. Admired for both her exceptional charm and her dazzling effects, Margery was the best hope for the psychic practice to be empirically verified. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince...the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini.

David Jaher's extraordinary debut culminates in the showdown between Houdini, a relentless unmasker of charlatans, and Margery, the nation's most credible spirit medium. The Witch of Lime Street , the first book to capture their electric public rivalry and the competition that brought them into each other's orbit, returns us to an oft-mythologized era to deepen our understanding of its history, all while igniting our imagination and engaging with the timeless question: Is there life after death?

From the Hardcover edition.

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ISBN:
9780307451064
9780307451088
9781101924334
9781101924303
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 22d136c1-c86e-4d98-e5fd-972e121b238b
Grouping Title witch of lime street séance seduction and houdini in the spirit world
Grouping Author jaher david
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-09-25 22:58:20PM
Last Indexed 2018-09-25 00:23:04AM

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author David Jaher
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display_description In 1924 the wife of a Boston surgeon came to embody the raging national debate over Spiritualism, a movement devoted to communication with the dead. Reporters dubbed her the blonde Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most vocal advocate was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery's powers that he urged her to enter a controversial contest, sponsored by Scientific American. Her supernatural gifts beguiled four of the judges. There was only one left to convince... the acclaimed escape artist, Harry Houdini. Jaher captures their electric public rivalry and the competition that brought them into each other's orbit.
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primary_isbn 9780307451064
publishDate 2015
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subject_facet Audiobooks, Doyle, Arthur Conan, -- 1859-1930, Houdini, Harry, -- 1874-1926, Margery, -- 1888-1941, Spiritualism -- United States -- History -- 20th century, Spiritualists -- United States -- Biography, Women mediums -- United States -- Biography
title_display The witch of Lime Street : séance, seduction, and Houdini in the spirit world
title_full The Witch of Lime Street Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, The witch of Lime Street : séance, seduction, and Houdini in the spirit world / David Jaher, The witch of Lime Street [sound recording] : séance, seduction, and Houdini in the spirit world / David Jaher
title_short The witch of Lime Street :
title_sub séance, seduction, and Houdini in the spirit world
topic_facet Audiobooks, Biography & Autobiography, Doyle, Arthur Conan, History, Houdini, Harry, Margery, Nonfiction, Spiritualism, Spiritualists, Women mediums