Charlie Campbell

Could It Be Magic?

The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick: The Biography of a Legend

By

Little, Brown 264pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

THE BASIC REQUIREMENTS for the Indian rope trick are simple: a length of rope, a small boy, and a wholly credulous audience. In this entertaining study, Peter Larnont examines how one magic trick came to symbolise the mysteries of the Raj and fire the public imagination. From flying carpets and snake charmers, to fakirs who lay on beds of nails and walked on hot coals, the East provided an escape for the increasingly rational Victorian mind, and the Indian rope trick became seen as the ultimate manifestation of this powerful magic.

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