From at least 1200 B.C. and probably long before, prophets have attempted to see into the future. Most—from ancient oracles to modern astrologers, from doomsday sects to telephone psychics—have been wrong the majority of the time, says British researcher Geoffrey Ashe. True foreknowledge is rare, but those rare occurrences are impressive.
In this fascinating reference work, the first to encompass the entire 3,000 year span of recorded prophecy, Ashe examines the predictions of both good prophets and bad, including seers like Jacques Cazotte, who forecast the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution, and Morgan Robertson, who described the Titanic disaster 14 years before it happened. He refutes many of the far-fetched claims of Nostradamus, and highlights those that foreshadow events after his lifetime. He also examines failed prophecies that have been influential, including the many end-of-the-world forecasts, along with the surprisingly accurate visions of some science-fiction authors.
- More than 100 entries on prophets and prophecies from the Antichrist to Yevgeny Zamyatin, the Russian author whose writings influenced Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984
- Extensive illustrations with drawings and diagrams including engravings from William Blake's so-called prophetic books and depictions of the ten incarnations of Vishnu
- Numerous photographs of writers such as D. H. Lawrence, H. G. Wells, and E. M. Forster; spiritual leaders such as Madame Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy; and Theodor Herzl, founder of Zionism
- A bibliography as a guide for extended research