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DateLecture
07 January 2020One Hundred Years of Deception: Hoaxes and Swindlers in the 18th Century
03 December 2019In the Kingdom of the Sweets
05 November 2019From Downton to Gatsby – Jewellery and Fashion from 1890 to 1929
01 October 2019Foreigners in London 1520-1677 – Artists who changed the course of British Art
02 July 2019The World’s Most Expensive Art
04 June 2019Lawrence of Arabia: Excavating a Legend
07 May 2019Hockney at 80 – Britain’s Greatest Living Artist
02 April 2019The Art of the Steal: Nazi Looting During WWII
05 March 2019Chinese Imperial Court Costume 1644- 1911
05 February 2019The Wallace and Frick Collections and their connection with Knole
08 January 2019Edouard Manet and Music
04 December 2018Giles: His Life, Times and Cartoons
06 November 2018Thomas Heatherwick: “ The Leonardo da Vinci of Our Times”
02 October 2018Captain James Cook and the Enlightenment
03 July 2018Buried Treasures - Spectacular Hoards of Late Roman Silver
05 June 2018Art UK: Uncovering the Nation’s Hidden Oil Painting Collection
01 May 2018The Art of Royal Dress – Why Clothes Matter
03 April 2018Anatomical Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci
06 March 2018Toulouse-Lautrec and the Cabarets of Paris
06 February 2018Votes for Women! – Art, Suffragettes and Female Politicians
09 January 2018The Emperor Hadrian (AD117-138): Architecture as an expression of Imperial Power
05 December 2017Children’s Book Illustrations
07 November 2017Looking at Furniture: Its uses, application, evaluation and aesthetics
03 October 2017Image and History – Art at the Lansdowne Club
04 July 2017Edgar Degas – Realist or Impressionist?
06 June 2017Treasures of the Turf
02 May 2017The Extraordinary Life of Misia Sert – Queen of Paris
04 April 2017Absolutely Classic! Neo Classicism in Regency England

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One Hundred Years of Deception: Hoaxes and Swindlers in the 18th Century Mr Ian Keable MA Tuesday 07 January 2020

The 1700s was a period where the people of England seemed to be especially gullible.  They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; that a man could climb inside a wine bottle and sing and dance inside it; and a balloonist could fly in a Chinese Temple.  These and other hoaxes - which involved the likes of Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson and the politician Charles James Fox - were written about in newspapers and journals and brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray.  In this entertaining talk Ian relates and illustrates sundry hoaxes and deliberate deceptions; all of which are memorable not only for the imaginative nature of the swindles, but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters.


Ian Keable gained a First Class degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician, a Member of The Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star. He is currently performing a show about Charles Dickens, who was an amateur conjurer, called The Secret World of Charles Dickens. In 2014 he published ‘Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature’. Recently he presented a paper ‘Hogarth, Gillray & Cruikshank and the Bottle Conjurer Hoax’ at a conference at the University of Brighton. Ian divides his time between performing magic, giving talks and researching and writing.

Picture credit: Hogarth print of Mary Toft