You are here

The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost (Hardcover)

The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost Cover Image
$27.00
On Our Shelves Now
4 on hand, as of Dec 16 8:45am
(HISTORY)

Description


"A rare work of historical nonfiction that is both studious and just plain entertaining."--Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Books of 2017
"An exceptional story"--Errol Morris, New York Times Book Review

A story of faith and fraud in post-Civil War America, told through the lens of a photographer who claimed he could capture images of the dead


In the early days of photography, in the death-strewn wake of the Civil War, one man seized America's imagination. A "spirit photographer," William Mumler took portrait photographs that featured the ghostly presence of a lost loved one alongside the living subject. Mumler was a sensation: The affluent and influential came calling, including Mary Todd Lincoln, who arrived at his studio in disguise amidst rumors of seances in the White House.

Peter Manseau brilliantly captures a nation wracked with grief and hungry for proof of the existence of ghosts and for contact with their dead husbands and sons. It took a circus-like trial of Mumler on fraud charges, starring P. T. Barnum for the prosecution, to expose a fault line of doubt and manipulation. And even then, the judge sided with the defense--nobody ever solved the mystery of his spirit photography. This forgotten puzzle offers a vivid snapshot of America at a crossroads in its history, a nation in thrall to new technology while clinging desperately to belief.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780544745971
ISBN-10: 0544745973
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 352
Language: English