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Empire of Enchantment

The Story of Indian Magic

John Zubrzycki

Hardcover

List Price: 29.95*
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Description

India's association with magicians goes back thousands of years. Conjurors and illusionists dazzled the courts of Hindu maharajas and Mughal emperors. As British dominion spread over the subcontinent, such wonder-workers became synonymous with India. Western magicians appropriated Indian attire, tricks and stage names; switching their turbans for top hats, Indian jugglers fought back and earned their grudging respect.
This book tells the extraordinary story of how Indian magic descended from the realm of the gods to become part of daily ritual and popular entertainment across the globe. Recounting tales of levitating Brahmins, resurrections, prophesying monkeys and "the most famous trick never performed," Empire of Enchantment vividly charts Indian magic's epic journey from street to the stage.

This heavily illustrated book tells the extraordinary, untold story of how Indian magic descended from the realm of the gods to become part of daily ritual and popular entertainment across the globe. Drawing on ancient religious texts, early travelers' accounts, colonial records, modern visual sources, and magicians' own testimony, Empire of Enchantment is a vibrant narrative of India's magical traditions, from Vedic times to the present day.

Oxford University Press, USA, 9780190914394, 288pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2018



About the Author

John Zubrzycki has worked in India as a diplomat, consultant, tour guide, and correspondent for The Australian. His background is in South Asian history and Hindi, and his doctoral thesis (University of New South Wales) concerned historical links between Indian and Western stage magicians. John's previous books include The Last Nizam and The Mysterious Mr Jacob.