Our new exhibition, Cartomancy: Anthony Burgess and the Tarot, is now open at the Engine House.
Anthony Burgess was fascinated by the possibility of predicting the future. Drawing on previously unseen material from the Burgess Foundation collections, this exhibition explores Anthony Burgess’s creative relationship with dreams, horoscopes – and the mysteries of the Tarot.
Burgess owned several decks of Tarot cards, and even created at least two himself. He and his first wife Lynne practised cartomancy based on the teachings of the mystic ‘Papus’ in his occult manual Tarot of the Bohemians, and read the cards at village fetes in the 1950s. The Tarot appears in many articles and novels by Burgess, as do horoscopes and predictive dreams: this exhibition includes an extract of Burgess’s own horoscope, as well as the manuscript of his unpublished short story Chance Would Be A Fine Thing, a cautionary tale about using the Tarot to assist with winning the football pools.
The exhibition is free, and is open weekdays 10am to 3pm, and also in the evenings during events.