by P. T. Barnum
Part of the Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritualism and Esoteric Knowledge Series
Ebenezer Scrooge's cry of 'Humbug!' is well known throughout the English-speaking world. But what did he mean? In this entertaining book, P. T. Barnum (1810-91), defines 'humbug' as 'glittering appearances by which to suddenly arrest public attention, and attract the public eye and ear'. A showman himself and the creator of 'The Greatest Show on Earth', Barnum was famous for his own tricks, and describes here some of the most fascinating and outrageous examples perpetrated in his time. He explores the cases of Mr Warren, who wrote an advertisement in enormous letters on the pyramids of Giza, and the Fox daughters, who caused a stir among spiritualists in New York when they held seances with tapping spirits - in fact their own cracking knee joints. First published in 1866, this tour of Victorian humbug, fraud, superstition and quackery will appeal to social historians and readers interested in nineteenth-century popular culture.