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The Magical Imagination: Magic and Modernity in Urban England, 1780-1914 Hardcover – 23 Feb 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (23 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107002001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107002005
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,005,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'This is a rich and evocative book, which, if the reader can forgive the occasional descent into social science jargon … should be required reading for any student of folklore, and will [be] of great value to anyone interested in the history of Manchester, Norwich or Portsmouth, or urban history, psychogeography or related topics.' John Rimmer, Magonia Online

Book Description

This innovative history of popular magical mentalities in nineteenth-century England reveals how the magical imagination helped people adjust to urban life. Using perspectives from cultural anthropology, sociology, folklore and urban studies, this is a major contribution to our understanding of popular magic and the lived experience of modernization and urbanization.

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Format: Hardcover
A far better way of surveying this field of history, Karl Bell refuses to discard the normal practice of superstition and analyses its uses to the crushed new populations of urban centres. A very human history.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x898dcdc8) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0x895982c4) out of 5 stars A valuable resource for students of popular culture 22 July 2016
By Teheuti - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fascinating study, well-researched and thought out. While the writing and approach is academic and scholarly it's also very readable. If you are interested in the mind-set of late 18th to early 20th century English culture regarding the place of and attitudes regarding magic, superstition and divination then you'll be happy with this book. It's also essential reading for anyone studying this subject in the late 20th and early 21st centuries as it sets a groundwork and conceptual framework for more modern studies.
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