Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet ?, 20 Oct 2006
This review is from: Victorian Romantic Tarot Kit: Based on Original Victorian Engravings (Paperback)
Tarot decks designed by the Magic Realist Press, in the form of Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov, are rapidly becoming decks against which other Tarots are judged. First there was the Tarot of Prague, then the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot, both beautifully-judged collage decks, the kind of collage where you can't spot the joins. Two more Tarot decks followed, and an Oracle, also two fine books demonstrating the same high artistic standards and, also, sense of fun.

So we get to the Victorian Romantic Tarot, not a collage deck but a deck composed of 78 Victorian engravings, some of them spliced together, or cropped, or otherwise altered to enhance the required effect. Apart from a couple of cards, none of these images is well-known, and many of their creators (from Germany, from what is now the Czech Republic, from France and Britain and America) are now completely forgotten. But what images ! There is medievalism and the Victorian love of the Orient (the Emperor is an Egyptian pharoah, the Hierophant an Islamic teacher). There are scenes of Ancient Greece and Rome, and quite a few fairies and nympths, and there are many genre paintings depicting realistic aspects of Victorian life.

And it's not just art, it also does work very well as Tarot, with the images matched beautifully with the usual interpretations. The Rider-Waite tradition is a guiding influence but the images are much richer than that remark might imply-they are great to use in any form of creative work as so many of them suggest a narrative. I am finding them a joy to work with, both in readings and in creative writing exercises and as meditative tools.

Tarot enthusiasts who wish to discover a deep, attractive and effective deck would be advised to look at this one. It would also please any lovers of Victoriana, whether or not they are acquainted with Tarot.
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