Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World

Chapter 4, Note 30

“The small theatre of exhibition was lighted only by one hanging lamp, the flame of which was drawn up into an opaque chimney or shade when the performance began. In this ‘darkness visible’ the curtain rose, and displayed a cave with skeletons and other terrific figures in relief upon its walls […] The head of Dr. Franklin...transformed into a skull...was followed by spectres, skeletons, and terrific figures, which, instead of receding and vanishing as before, suddenly advanced upon the spectators, becoming larger as they approached them, and finally vanished by appearing to sink into the ground. The effect of this part of the exhibition was naturally the most impressive.” Sir David Brewster, Letters on Natural Magic, 158–59.

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