Can’t Wait Wednesday was once Waiting on Wednesday, but the purpose is the same: for bloggers to highlight what they’re waiting on. This week I am waiting on something different for me: Empire of Enchantment, the story of Indian Magic
A vibrant narrative of India’s magical traditions and their journey across the world
India’s association with magicians goes back thousands of years. Conjurers 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 stage.
It’s not my usual pick to say the least, but I have never actually heard or read anything before now (this) about the role magic played in India’s daily life. Also: descended from the gods? That I am curious is an understatement, but it’s a part of India I would like to know more about.