A century ago, the curious idea that spirits not only survive death but can be contacted on the “other side” was widespread. Psychic mediums led countless séances, claiming to connect the grieving with their lost relations through everything from frenzied trance writing to sticky expulsions of ectoplasm.
The craze caught Harry Houdini’s attention. Well-known by then as the world's most renowned magician and escape artist, he began to investigate these spiritual phenomena. Are ghosts real? Can we communicate with them? Catch them in photographs? Or are all mediums “flim-flammers,” employing tricks and illusions like Houdini himself?
Peopled with odd and fascinating characters, Houdini’s gripping quest will excite readers’ universal wonderment with life, death, and the possibility of the Beyond.
Young Nellie Bly had ambitious goals, especially for a woman at the end of the nineteenth century, when the few female journalists were relegated to writing columns about cleaning or fashion. But fresh off a train from Pittsburgh, Nellie knew she was destined for more and pulled a major journalistic stunt that skyrocketed her to fame: feigning insanity, being committed to the notorious asylum on Blackwell’s Island, and writing a shocking exposé of the clinic’s horrific treatment of its patients.
Nellie Bly became a household name and raised awareness of political corruption, poverty, and abuses of human rights. Leading an uncommonly full life, Nellie circled the globe in a record seventy-two days and brought home a pet monkey before marrying an aged millionaire and running his company after his death.
In ancient Egypt people worshiped cats, and in India the cow is sacred. Today in America we flock to zoos in record numbers and pamper our pets. But what do we really know about animals? And what do we feel about them in spite of it? Walking a mile in their paws, feathers, or fur is harder than it seems.
Here Deborah Noyes embarks on a quest for understanding—struggling with science and love—attempting to distance, but also bring closer, the “other” kingdom in a meditation on how myth, history, and culture have influenced our views of animals and shaped our lives with them.
We are all—bird, beast, and boy—made of blood, bone, and beating heart. Where do they end and we begin?
How much do we truly know and understand about our own mortality? Enter Encyclopedia of the End, a compulsively readable illustrated compendium that explores this most taboo of topics. Entries present a kaleidoscopic mix of topics from afterlife to assassination, forensic science to funeral foods, rigor mortis to reincarnation and more. With an appreciation for the profound and profane, Deborah Noyes helps lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding one of the most fascinating—and ordinary—phenomena of life. After all, who says that a book about death can’t be lively?