The Spectacle of Illusion: Magic, The Paranormal & The Complicity of the Mind by Matthew L. Tompkins
Hand Signed by Matthew L. Tompkins to the Title Page
New & Unread
In The Spectacle of Illusion, professional magician-turned experimental psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins investigates the arts of deception as practiced and popularized by mesmerists, magicians and psychics since the early 18th century. Organized thematically within a broadly chronological trajectory, this compelling book explores how illusions perpetuated by magicians and fraudulent mystics can not only deceive our senses but also teach us about the inner workings of our minds. Indeed, modern scientists are increasingly turning to magic tricks to develop new techniques to examine human perception, memory and belief. Beginning by discussing mesmerism and spiritualism, the book moves on to consider how professional magicians such as John Nevil Maskelyne, Harry Houdini, and James Randi engaged with these movements – particularly how they set out to challenge and debunk paranormal claims. It also relates the interactions between magicians, mystics and scientists over the past 200 years, and reveals how the researchers who attempted to investigate magical and paranormal phenomena were themselves deceived, and what this can teach us about deception.
Highly illustrated throughout with entertaining and bizarre drawings, double-exposure spirit photographs and photographs of spoon-bending from hitherto inaccessible and un-mined archives, including the Wellcome Collection, the Harry Price Library, the Society for Physical Research, and last but not least, the Magic Circle’s closely guarded collection, the book also features newly commissioned photography of planchettes, rapping boards, tilting tables, ectoplasm, automata and illusion boxes. Concluding with a modern-day analysis of the science of magic and illusion, analyzing surprisingly weird phenomena such as ideomotor action, sleep paralysis, choice blindness and the psychology of misdirection, this unnerving volume highlights how unreliable our minds can be, and how complicit they can be in the perpetuation of illusions.
About the Author: American magician-turned-psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins obtained a DPhil in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Previously, he had obtained a BA in Psychology at the State University of New York at Geneseo and an MSc in Psychological Research at Oxford. His research, which has been featured across various international media outlets, including the Washington Post and BBC Future, focuses on the cognitive psychology of illusions. Matt worked as a professional magician before he began his academic career, and his experiences performing continue to influence his work. He recently became the first member of The Magic Circle to be admitted on the basis of a peer-reviewed scientific publication.
Format: Hardback Edition
All our signed books include a 'Signed Copy' gift tag, supplied free of charge.
Please Note: By their very nature, all signed books will have been handled several times before they get to you. This may result in small marks to the dustjacket and title page, please also bear in mind that each signature will be a little different from the one we show here. We use courier and signed for delivery services, so please use an address at which your parcel can be signed for during the normal working day.
We'll despatch your order as quickly as we can. If a product is out of stock we will contact you to discuss the likely delivery time or an alternative product.
Orders for delivery in the UK are despatched by Courier and will normally be delivered to you within a few days of placing your order (UK deliveries by Courier normally arrive the day after we despatch). Signed Books are shipped in specially made book mailing cartons, with the books themselves wrapped in paper and bubble wrap to protect them. Because we use courier and signed for delivery services, please use an address at which your parcel can be signed for during the normal working day.
First Item @ £3.75 (sometimes a shipping supplement may be added for particularly heavy books or specific postcodes*)
2 Items & Over @ £5.00 in total
*There are a number of Postcodes in the UK for which we will need to charge a shipping supplement, this will be calculated automatically during the checkout process. There are also a very small number of Postcode areas not covered by our delivery service, for these we will contact customers to agree a suitable and economic method of shipping. There may also be additional time required for delivery to some areas of the United Kingdom. View a complete table of Postcode Surcharges. Where possible, we will ship single book orders (under 1kg) by Royal Mail to all UK postcodes and a refund shipping accordingly back to the £3.75 rate shown above. Multiple book orders and books over 1kg are shipped via APC Overnight, regardless of Postcode.
Shipments to other EU countries:
First Book @ £15.00 (sometimes a shipping supplement will be added for particularly heavy books)
2 Books & over @ £30.00 in total
Shipments to the USA & Canada:
First Book @ £30.00
2 Books & over @ £50.00 in total
Shipments to the Rest of the World:
First Book @ £45.00
2 Books & over @ £60.00 in total
All overseas orders are shipped using a 'signed for' courier service - please provide an address at which your parcel can be signed for on receipt. We use the same packaging materials for our overseas deliveries as we do those in the UK.
It was the most impressive packaging that I have EVER SEEN!!!