The Hoax: The 18th Century's Most Intriguing Deceptions

The hoax

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The fake news of the past, with magician and historian Ian Keable

This event takes place in the British Library.

Be ready for some mind-bending magic and deceptions as magician and historian Ian Keable details some of the biggest hoaxes of the 18th century – a woman who birthed rabbits, a new Shakespearean play, curious astrological predictions and more hoaxes of intrigue.

In 1749 a newspaper advertisement appeared stating that a man would climb inside a bottle on the stage of a London theatre. Unfortunately, although the audience turned up, the conjurer didn't. Over the following decades, elaborate jokes and fanciful tales would continue to bamboozle people across England.

In The Century of Deception Ian Keable tells the stories of these 18th-century hoaxes and those who were duped by them.

The English public were hoodwinked time and time again, swallowing tales of rapping ghosts, a woman who gave birth to rabbits, a levitating Frenchman in a Chinese temple and outrageous astrological predictions.

The hoaxes were widely influential, drawing in celebrities such as Samuel Johnson, Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Swift. ‘Fake news’, ‛going viral’ and ‛social media’ may be modern terms, but as this eye-opening book shows, these concepts have been with us for centuries.

Ian Keable is a Gold Star Member of The Magic Circle. He has received The Magic Circle Comedy Magic Award and has also won the British Champion of Comedy Magic. Be aware this show will contain multiple deceptions...

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Name: The Hoax: The 18th Century's Most Intriguing Deceptions
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546