The Sinister History of the Hand of Glory

 
 Starts at 7:00 pm
 £5

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

From ‘Thing’ in the Addams Family to Dr. Strangelove’s ‘alien hand’, contemporary audiences are familiar with images of sinister, dismembered hands. But this grisly gothic motif can be traced back to a medieval legend: the ‘hand of glory’ was a pervasive and rooted northern European folk belief that the severed hand of a hanged man (in its most common articulation) could give its owner magical powers when it was turned into a candle. These powers varied according to region and time period, but were, among others, said to make housebreakers invisible and the house’s inhabitants unable to wake up.

In this talk Shane McCorristine will set out the origins of this ancient superstition, before turning to the particular reasons why the hands of executed criminals were thought to have magical or virtuous powers by hangmen, apothecaries, healers, witches, and thieves in the early modern period. Dr McCorristine will examine the extent to which hands of glory were actually used and look at how the severed and animate magical hand became an important theme in nineteenth-century literature.


Contact and Booking Details

 
 Starts at 7:00 pm
 £5

Booking details and information at this website.

Reserve tickets at this website

Disclaimer: All information given is correct at the time of compiling the listings. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.

2021-10-05 19:00 2021-10-05 19:00 Europe/London The Sinister History of the Hand of Glory In this talk Shane McCorristine will set out the origins of this ancient superstition. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2021/10/05/the-sinister-history-of-the-hand-of-glory-274224 ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

NEWSLETTER

Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.