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
  • Edition: Abridged
  • Illustrations note: 30 MONO
  • Sales rank: 735,645

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 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""

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