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The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack: From Victorian Legend to Steampunk Hero (Paperback)
  • The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack: From Victorian Legend to Steampunk Hero (Paperback)
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The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack: From Victorian Legend to Steampunk Hero (Paperback)

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£14.99
Paperback 360 Pages
Published: 01/12/2016
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Exploring the vast urban legend surrounding this enigmatic figure, John Matthews explains how the Victorian fascination with strange phenomena and sinister figures paired with hysterical reports enabled Spring-Heeled Jack to be conjured into existence. Sharing original 19th-century newspaper accounts of Spring-Heeled Jack sightings and encounters, he also examines recent 20th and 21st-century reports, including a 1953 UFO-related sighting from Houston, Texas, and disturbing accounts of the Slender Man, who displays notable similarities with Jack. He traces Spring-Heeled Jack’s origins to earlier mythical beings from folklore, such as fairy creatures and land spirits, and explores the theory that Jack is an alien marooned on Earth whose leaping prowess is attributed to his home planet having far stronger gravity than ours.

Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company
ISBN: 9781620554968
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 578 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

“Probably no one in the world but John Matthews could have written this book. His scholarship is, as always, of the highest order yet joined to a deep love of stories. His unwillingness to make artificial separations between traditional folklore and popular culture allows Spring-Heeled Jack to come vigorously to life.” - Rachel Pollack, author of The Child Eater

“John Matthews intrigues, disturbs, and delights us with his detailed account of the legendary Spring-Heeled Jack who, whether real or not, terrified victims amid the shadows of Victorian London and beyond. Leaping into the fears of the unwary, such figures persist in the modern imagination, and Matthews gives us much to chew on with regard to our fascination with untamed, semi-animal, evil in superhuman guise. Victorian supernaturalism, ghost stories, Jack the Ripper, the Green Man, demonic lore, and much else illuminate the shifting image of ‘Jack’ in Matthews’s crepuscular romp through the ginnels and repressions of fervid times, where unearthly clawing and ripping threatens to confront us with the archetypal fiend.” - Tobias Churton, author of Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin

“Thoroughly researched, John Matthews’s writing is effortlessly accessible for both newcomers and those familiar with London’s original bogeyman. This book could and should become one of the definitive texts about Spring-Heeled Jack in the years to come.” - Jack Bowman, cowriter of The Springheel Saga audio dramas

“For a fascinating guide to the history and mystery of England’s most famous phantom attacker, look no further than John Matthews’s remarkable book.” - Robert Valentine, cowriter of The Springheel Saga audio dramas

“This detailed and comprehensive account of--and inquiry into--the unsolved mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack is scholarly, highly entertaining, and deeply impressive. It’s easily the best study available.” - Mark Hodder, author of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack

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