Sigrid Ellis's Reviews > Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism

Talking to the Dead by Barbara Weisberg
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Jan 07, 11

bookshelves: history-americas, feminism, biography

The author of the book doesn't take a stand on whether the Fox sisters were frauds or not. Or, rather, she postulates a handful of different scenarios as to the level of fraud they perpetrated. At first this really irritated me -- I wanted an *answer*. But over the course of the book I grew to accept and then appreciate what Weisberg is trying to say. We *can't* know what Maggie and Kate Fox meant to do, not at this late date. All we have is what they said and what others said about them.

The Fox girls were the most popular Spiritualists of their time. They were superstar celebrities. This book gives a clear picture of the course of their lives. I could wish we knew more about their motivations and intentions, but we simply don't.
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