The Reluctant Spiritualist by Nancy Rubin Stuart
The Life of Maggie Fox

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* Nominated for a New York Historical Society Book Prize in American History * Honorable Mention in General Nonfiction from the American Society of Journalists and Authors Here is the first authoritative biography of Margaret Fox, the world-famous medium and cofounder of the Spiritualism movement that swept America in the mid-1800s. In 1848, fifteen-year-old Maggie and her sister Katy created rapping sounds by manipulating their toe joints, practicing until they convinced their parents that their farmhouse was haunted. What started as a prank soon transformed into a movement: By 1853 more than thirty thousand mediums were at work, with Maggie among the most famous. But when she denounced the faith in 1888-appearing before a packed auditorium in her stocking feet to demonstrate-Spiritualism withered almost as quickly as it had bloomed.

Through the memoirs of the Fox sisters, the letters of Maggie's Arctic explorer husband, contemporary newspaper accounts, and other primary sources, Nancy Rubin Stuart creates a vibrant portrait of a Victorian-era woman at the heart of the tumults of her time.

 
 

About Nancy Rubin Stuart

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Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author specializing in women's and social history. She has appeared on national television and NPR and has written for the New York Times, among other publications. Stuart is a board member of the Women Writing Women's Lives Seminar at the CUNY Graduate Center and executive director of the Cape Cod Writers Center. Visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NancyRubinStuart or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/redancer1
 
Published November 12, 2011 by Harcourt. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Though Maggie recanted her “confession” a year later and resumed holding séances, spiritualism never fully recovered from her initial exposé.

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