Fortune Telling in the 19thCentury

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Highlighting Historical and Time-Travel Novels with Nancy Thorne

Her novel, Victorian Town, is a YA paranormal romance novel set in 1876. Researching the 19thcentury led her to countless interesting topics. Fortune telling was one of them.

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Marie-Anne Lenormand

In the 1800s, Marie-Anne Lenormand secured her reputation as a famous card reader. For over 40 years Marie-Anne was a professional fortune-teller, even advising Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife. Born in 1772 in France, she lived until 1843, but her name continues on in a memoir she wrote, although it reveals little about her know-how in forecasting the future.

A daughter of a merchant, Marie-Anne grew to be known for her impassioned imagination, curiosity and sprightliness of mind. It is said she began to predict upcoming events to her family and others at the age of seven.

Her methods of fortune telling are still practiced today, including the consulting of tarot cards. There is a 36-card divination deck that bears Marie-Anne Lenormand’s name still used in parts of the world today.mansion-tarot-cards-2-300x200 Author's Blog Highlighting History

The Ouija, or Talking Board was introduced in 1890 by Elijah Bond, a businessman. It was regarded as simply a parlor game not associated with the occult until an American Spiritualist, Pearl Curran, popularized it as such during World War I.

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Pearl Curran

Pearl Curran, along with a friend, visited a neighbor. During the visit, the neighbor brought out her game of Ouija. It is here Pearl and her friend seemingly had contact with the spirit of a British woman with the name of Patience Worth, who communicated to Pearl through the letters on the board that she lived in the 1600s. Pearl described the event as, “One of the most beautiful that can be the privilege of a human being to experience.” No authentic documentation has ever been discovered regarding the existence of this Patience Worth.

VictorianTown_200-187x300 Author's Blog Highlighting History About the Book: Victorian Town

Abby Parker planned out her whole life: complete her final year of high school, go to college, get a job, move away from her insane family, stay best friends with Jessica.

But, that was before she broke into the nearby tourist attraction and unwittingly answered a call from a centuries-old spirit who dragged her into the 19th century.

Now she must solve a Victorian mystery without getting herself killed, or worse, spend a lifetime trapped in the past, leaving behind everyone she loves and altering their lives forever.

When she meets gorgeous Benjamin, the future looks a lot like wreckage.

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About the Author

NancyThornePostageStamp-215x300 Author's Blog Highlighting History Nancy Thorne fostered a passion for words and creating stories in grade school but hid it much too well.

Bringing to life a childhood dream, her short fiction has most recently appeared in The First Line Literary Journal. Victorian Town is her debut novel.

When not writing, reading or traveling, you can find her taking long walks along Lake Ontario near her home just outside of Toronto. She lives with her husband, two sons and an energetic fox-red Labrador.





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Caroline Warfield, Author

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