Punch,  56 (1869), 183.

Necromancy, or Nonesense? (Aid to Investigation. Dedicated to the Dialectical Society)





Spiritualism, Charlatanry, Magic, Experiment

People mentioned:

William Howitt

    Dedicated to an organisation that had recently launched a systematic investigation into spiritualism. This begins by describing some of the spectacular phenomena produced 'Through Mr. Home', including his ability to lift himself 'in the air', to 'Assist him a live coal to hold', and to 'stretch and shorten him by turns'. Compares Home favourably with the twelfth century Scottish magician Michael Scot and Dr Faustus. Asks why the spirits did not help Home during his celebrated recent trial (in which he was accused by Jane Lyon of fabricating 'spiritualistic' warrant for his claim to her deceased husband's estate). Why did the spirits not prove 'by demonstration, / In open Court, [Home's] "levitation"', or produce spirit-writing with the Judge's pen? Concludes by asking them to give Mr Punch a rap to produce 'conviction'.

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