Posted on 2nd July 2020 by Neil Goodhand

As Lockdown continues, many of you are self-isolating, we are all still socially distancing and it will be quite a while before we are able to enjoy the thrill of congregating in the same room.  Therefore, we are moving our Speaker Meetings online so you can listen to talks by our Guest Speakers from the comfort of your own homes via ZOOM which we know many of you have been using for Group meetings or maybe to keep in touch with family and friends. 

Our next Speaker Meeting via ZOOM will be held on Thursday 30th July 2020 @ 2.00pm where Ian Keable will present The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in the Eighteenth Century

The 1700s was a period when the people of England seemed to be especially gullible.  They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; a man could climb inside a two pint bottle and sing inside it; and where a blond-haired European could write a book claiming that he was born in Taiwan.  These hoaxes weren’t just written about extensively in newspapers and journals but also brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray.  In this entertaining talk Ian demonstrates how 18th century hoaxes are memorable not only for their imaginative nature but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters.

Ian Keable got a degree from Oxford University, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician.  He has written Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature.  He now divides his time between performing magic, giving talks and researching and writing.  He is presently writing The Century of Deception: The Birth of Hoaxes in the Eighteenth Century, due to be published early next year so this is our chance to get a pre-launch taster.

  • Tickets Cost £2.00 per household/link and must paid for in advance by online bank transfer
    • If you have a credit owing this will be used in lieu of payment.
  • Tickets will be limited, so you must Register for this talk by sending an email to before 17th July please. You will then be sent details of how to pay.
  • Your booking will only be confirmed once payment is received and you will be sent instructions on how to join the meeting. 


The meeting will take place on Zoom, so you will need:

  • A computer, tablet or smartphone with a camera and microphone and
  • To Download the very simple Zoom software 

If you need assistance with Zoom, please let me know.  Our helpful support team are here and more than willing to help you get set up, subject to you having all the appropriate equipment.

I hope this talk, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own homes, will be of interest to you.

Best wishes


Glynis Leeson, Speakers’ Secretary

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