Consult the Oracle

Consult the Oracle : A Victorian Guide to Folklore and Fortune Telling

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"If you sing before breakfast you will cry before supper...' In their own words, what it meant for Victorians to dream of actors, April Fools, herrings or a railway ticket - why it was advised to throw a black snail by its horns over the left shoulder for good luck - and why it is essential to inform bees of a death in the family. "If one drops a knife, a woman is coming; a fork, a man is coming; a spoon, a fool." Tappings on tables, questionable curatives, old wives' tales and whispers from beyond the grave - Victorians were fascinated by the supernatural. Consult the Oracle was where they might have turned when they needed to identify a witch, interpret an omen or dream, required a natural cure or wanted to divine their future with a pack of cards - or simply wished to understand what the supernatural meant to them and their ancestors. First published in 1899, it offered a layman's guide to 'matters magical and mysterious', and today is a quirky glimpse of a supernatural age now lost, by turns haunting and hilarious.

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  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 130 x 184 x 24mm | 180g
  • 22 Jul 2014
  • Osprey Publishing
  • Old House Books
  • Oxford
  • English
  • Abridged
  • 30 MONO
  • 1908402733
  • 9781908402738
  • 799,371

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Author Information

Gabriel Nostradamus

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Review quote

"This compact 'reference' book is perfect for toting, so you can always have mystical lifehacks like 'Do not cut your nails on Sunday!' at the ready. Originally published in 1899, it includes superstitions, charms, and supernatural counsel, including dream interpretation, palm reading, and some handy advice on communicating with the dead." "Mental_Floss" "This handy little compendium of Victorian-era superstitions and folklore is a fun resource if you need research for this time period, or if you just want to be amused by late 19th century superstitions." "Historical Novel Society""

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