June 2023

The Century of Deception

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Monday, June 12, 2023 - 14:30
Henfield Hall, Henfield
Coopers Way Henfield BN5 9EQ
Online Event

The birth of the hoax in the 18thC.

In the 18thC. 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 lecture will show, these concepts have been with us for centuries.


Mr Ian Keable

Ian gained a First Class degree from Oxford University, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician. He is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle. In 2014 he published Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature. He now divides his time between performing magic, giving talks and researching and writing. His latest book, The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in Eighteenth-Century England, was published in 2021.