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

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


By (author) Gabriel Nostradamus


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  • Publisher: Old House Books
  • Format: Hardback | 168 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 184mm x 24mm | 180g
  • Publication date: 22 July 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 1908402733
  • ISBN 13: 9781908402738
  • Illustrations note: 30 MONO
  • Sales rank: 666,061

Product description

"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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Author information

Gabriel Nostradamus

Review quote

"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"

Table of contents

The meaning of dreams /Omens, charms and spells for lovers /Mystery about plants /The fortunes of little people /Days /Curing ailments by magical means /Fortunes told by cards /Character shown in handwriting /Weddings and married life /Spiritualism /Feathered prophets of good and evil /The significance of names /Astrology /Palm reading /Fairy Folk /What about witches? /Bees know more than people think