The amount of magic shows programmed by London theaters at the end of the 19th century is incredible. The West End was full of posters with flying hands, women split in half, heads floating apart from their bodies, legs that were ahead of their trunk. .. Walking through the Victorian West End was like being inside a dream of Jack the Ripper. Of course there were also musicals. But almost everyone swirled around magic, or a magical object, or the life and miracles of a magician, or a pig named Trudy that for a time was very popular for some reason that I do not know but that I would not be surprised if it was related to magic. People were tired of the everyday, of the natural and logical functioning of things, and longed for the implausible, the magical, the out of place. And of course, among the upper classes firstly, the mediums had a field day. There was a visceral hatred on the part of the illusionists towards the mediums. The magicians considered mediums as an unfair competition, and therefore they tried by all means to discredit them. An expert Illusionist can become very fussy in a séance. The minutes of an evening séance held in Fumington Hall are recorded in the archives of the Society for Psychical Research. An illusionist named Kellar had infiltrated the guests posing as an Indian prince. His intention was to unmask a medium for whom he felt a particular dislike and, above all, eat as much as possible, because we must keep in mind that many magicians went hungry. The main reason was the overpopulation of magicians in London (it is estimated that a quarter of Londoners over 21 years was a magician or aspired to be or to marry a magician). In this séance of which I speak, the medium was one of the most reputable: Eudora Monroe, who was said to have correspondents who kept her up to date with everything that happened in the spirit world. When someone from high society died, they called her before the coroner, and the séance was celebrated before the burial. Well, this time there was the damn coincidence that the deceased had spent much of his life in India and knew all its habits and customs. The illusionist only knew that the Indians wore a turban, so during the whole séance he tried to focus the conversation with the deceased on that subject. He justified it by saying that he was a manufacturer of turbans, but his fellows began to look at him suspiciously. On the other hand, the medium was delighted because, when the subject of the turbans was slipping away, the illusionist muddled through trying to seem gallant with her. He would get up to kiss her hand, to offer her a vase flower, to swear eternal love. The troubled medium had never met such a gallant man. It must be said that the illusionist was not all that ugly, and also the turban made him look taller. The fact is that the medium succumbed to his charms and the unfortunate magician had no choice but to marry her.

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