Conjuring Science

A History of Scientific Entertainment and Stage Magic in Modern France

  • Authors
  • Sofie┬áLachapelle

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Sofie Lachapelle
    Pages 1-9
  3. Sofie Lachapelle
    Pages 11-35
  4. Sofie Lachapelle
    Pages 37-57
  5. Sofie Lachapelle
    Pages 59-88
  6. Sofie Lachapelle
    Pages 109-127
  7. Sofie Lachapelle
    Pages 129-136
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 137-201

About this book

Introduction

Conjuring Science explores the history of magic shows and scientific entertainment. It follows the frictions and connections of magic and science as they occurred in the world of popular entertainment in France from the mid-eighteenth to the early twentieth century. It situates conjurers within the broader culture of science and argues that stage magic formed an important popular conduit for science and scientific enthusiasm during this period. From the scientific recreations of the fairs to the grand illusions of the theatre stage and the development of early cinema, conjurers used and were inspired by scientific and technological innovations to create illusions, provoke a sense of wonder, and often even instruct their audience. In their hands, science took on many meanings and served different purposes: it was a set of pleasant facts and recreational demonstrations upon which to draw; it was the knowledge presented in various scientific lectures accompanied by optical projections at magic shows; it was the techniques necessary to create illusions and effects on stage and later on at the cinema; and it was a way to separate conjuring from the deceit of mediums, mystical showmen and quacks in order to gain a better standing within an increasingly scientifically-minded society.

Keywords

20. Jahrhundert 20th century France history stage

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137492975
  • Copyright Information Sofie Lachapelle 2015
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-49768-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-49297-5
  • About this book