The Witch of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World - David Jaher

The 1920s were a fascinating time but below the extravagant surface there was still a lot of sorrow and grievance from amongst other things the first world war and the Spanish flu pandemic. Even though I hadn't heard of it before, I find it not surprising that in this particular atmosphere Spiritualism was at it highest. Together with the ever emerging science which had already proved thing that were thought to be impossible just decades before, this lead to the Scientific American holding a contest to find a real, scientifically proven, medium.

 

A very interesting story of which, I'll admit, I'd never heard of. I picked the book up mostly for the historical figures that were mentioned in the blurb, sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini, who would eventually turn against each other on this subject. However, the book focusses mostly on the Scientific American contest and the examination of the most promising candidate, the so-called Witch of Lime Street.

 

And while it was an enjoyable read, I felt it was too long. At almost 500 pages, it was too long for the story it told. The first half was very good, but with every new examination of Margery, which all seemed quite a lot like the last one, it was harder to keep my interest fully with the book. Overall however, I found the book very interesting and would recommend it to those interested in the 1920s or the Spiritualism craze of that time.

 

Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!