• Henley DFAS

The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in the Eighteenth Century

Thursday 16th September 2021 at 10.45am and 2.15pm or online at 10.30am if necessary
Ian Keable

The 1700s was a period when the people of England seemed to be especially gullible. They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; a man could climb inside a two pint bottle and sing inside it; and where a blond-haired European could write a book claiming that he was born in Taiwan. These hoaxes weren't just written about extensively in newspapers and journals but also brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray. In this entertaining talk Ian demonstrates how 18th century hoaxes are memorable not only for their imaginative nature but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters.



Ian gained a First Class degree from Oxford University, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician. He is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle. In 2014 he published Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature. He now divides his time between performing magic, giving talks and researching and writing. He is presently writing The Century of Deception: The Birth of Hoaxes in the Eighteenth Century, to be published shortly.