A History of Hypnotismby Alan Gauld
Franz Anton Mesmer arrived in Paris from Austria in February 1778 and established a medical practice which hailed him as one of the most remarkable men of his time. His skill lay in his theories and in his use of 'animal magnetism' to cure disease. Mesmer began a school of thought which spread across Europe and America, and enjoyed, at various stages, favour as a… See more details below
Franz Anton Mesmer arrived in Paris from Austria in February 1778 and established a medical practice which hailed him as one of the most remarkable men of his time. His skill lay in his theories and in his use of 'animal magnetism' to cure disease. Mesmer began a school of thought which spread across Europe and America, and enjoyed, at various stages, favour as a respected scientific and medical therapy, and disrepute as the tool of occultists, mystics and charlatans. Dr. Gauld has created a detailed and scholarly history of the phenomena, practice and theory of mesmerism, hypnotism and multiple personality disorder. The book traces the course of the mesmeric and hypnotic movements and gives special attention to the ideas and influence of certain leading figures. It considers the theories which developed to explain the phenomena and the uses and shortcomings of the technique in medical practice. Throughout the book, case histories and anecdotal accounts provide a fascinating insight into this controversial subject. The book also touches on the social and intellectual issues which influenced the progress and development of mesmerism and hypnotism. The work is extensively annotated and referenced. In his epilogue, Gauld discusses modern approaches to hypnotism and multiple personality disorder, and the role of hypnotism in clinical practice, and offers some ideas for understanding these intriguing phenomena. A History of Hypnotism is a wide-ranging and detailed history of the mesmeric and hypnotic movements and is an essential work of reference and scholarship in this field. A fascinating account, this important work will be of interest to psychiatrists, psychologists and medical historians, as well as to the general reader who wishes to learn more about this absorbing topic.
- Cambridge University Press
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- 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.57(d)
Table of Contents
Prologue: Franz Anton Mesmer; Part I. The Successors of Mesmer: 1. The Royal Commissions and the pamphlet war; 2. Puységur; 3. Phenomena and speculations 1784–1789; 4. Mesmerism in the German-speaking countries; 5. Kluge; 6. The revival of magnetism in France; 7. Mesmerism and the medical profession in France 1820–1840; 8. Mystical magnetism: Germany; 9. Mystical magnetism: France; 10. Mesmerism in the United States; 11. Mesmerism in Britain; 12. Topics from the Zoist; 13. Animal magnetism: retrospect and reflections; Part II. The Heyday of Hypnotism: 14. Precursors of hypnotism; 15. Hypnotism and scientific orthodoxy 1875–1885; 16. The Nancy school; 17. Pierre Janet and his influence; 18. Dipsychists and polypsychists; 19. Hypnotism and multiple personality in the United States; 20. Hypnotism and suggestion at the turn of the century I: preliminary considerations; 21. The turn of the century II: hypnotic phenomena; 22. The turn of the century III: uses and applications of hypnotism; 23. The turn of the century IV: states ostensibly related to hypnosis; 24. The turn of the century V: theories of hypnosis; 25. The decline of hypnotism; Epilogue: hypnotism today: Barber and beyond.
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