The Mysterious Bookshop

David Jaher - The Witch of Lime Street

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Signed First Edition

The 1920s are well remembered as the golden age of jazz and glamorous prosperity. Less remembered is the era’s fevered yearning for a connection to an unseen spirit world. That ’20s roar came soon after tens of millions of lives were lost in the First World War and during the Spanish-flu epidemic. A desperate search for reunion with so many lost souls precipitated a tidal wave of self-proclaimed psychics—and, as credulity reached an all-time high and reputable media increased coverage of paranormal phenomena, mediums became celebrities.

That is how, in 1924, the pretty wife of a distinguished Boston surgeon became the idolized focus of the raging national debate over spritualism, a movement centered on communication with the dead. Tabloids dubbed her the blond Witch of Lime Street, but she was known to her followers simply as Margery. Her most prominent advocate was none other than Sherlock Holmes’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, who believed so thoroughly in Margery’s prowess he recommended her to the editors of Scientific American, which was offering a large cash prize to the first medium who could authenticate her powers to its impressive five-man investigative committee. There was only one judge left to convince…the most renowned escape artist of all time--master illusionist Harry Houdini.

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