Spirits, Seers & Séances: Victorian Spiritualism, Magic & the Supernatural

Spirits, Seers & Séances: Victorian Spiritualism, Magic & the Supernatural

by Steele Alexandra Douris
Spirits, Seers & Séances: Victorian Spiritualism, Magic & the Supernatural

Spirits, Seers & Séances: Victorian Spiritualism, Magic & the Supernatural

by Steele Alexandra Douris

Paperback

$16.99 
  • SHIP THIS ITEM
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
  • PICK UP IN STORE
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Overview

Spiritualism in the Age of Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allan Poe

A woman wearing a black veil convenes a séance. A magician puts a volunteer into a trance. A fortune-teller leans over a crystal ball. Everyone knows what Victorian mysticism looks like because our modern imagery, language, and practice of magic borrows heavily from the Victorians. But we have little understanding of its spiritual, cultural, and historical foundations.

What made the Victorians turn to mediumship, hypnotism, and fortune-telling? What were they afraid of? What were they seeking?

This book explores the history of automatic writing, cartomancy, clairvoyance, and more. It reveals how Victorian belief in ghosts, fairies, and nature spirits shaped our celebrations of Halloween and Christmas. With historic examples and hands-on exercises, you will discover how spiritualism in the time of Jack the Ripper, Jane Eyre, "A Christmas Carol," and Dracula left such a profound impact on both the past and present.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738774619
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 09/08/2023
Pages: 226
Sales rank: 357,873
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Steele Alexandra Douris is an author, artist, and Victorianist, specializing in Victorian spiritualism, crime fiction, and the gothic novel. She is a PhD candidate in the English department at Stanford University, where she has taught courses on 19th-century spiritualism and ghost stories. She holds an MA in English from Stanford University and a BA in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Exercises xi

Introduction: An Invitation to the Night-Side 1

Part 1: The Soul of Spiritualism: Core Beliefs and Practices
Chapter 1: Séances and Spirit Communication: The Heart of Spiritualism 11
Chapter 2: Mesmerism, Channeling, and Hypnotism: The Power of Trance 33
Chapter 3: The Automatic Arts: Pens and Planchettes 45
Chapter 4: Spirit Photography: Capturing the Invisibles 57
Chapter 5: Paranormal Investigations: Psychical Research and Occult Detectives 75

Part 2: The Invisible World: Shades of the Victorian Supernatural
Chapter 6: Ghost-Seers and Ghostlore: From the Night- Side to the Ghost World 91
Chapter 7: Fairies, Flowers, and Folklore: Natural Enchantments 107
Chapter 8: Fortune-Telling: A Subtle and Stigmatized Craft 123

Part 3: Magic in Victorian Media
Chapter 9: The Victorian Gothic: Literary Phenomena 141
Chapter 10: Pre-Raphaelite Art: Seers and Sorceresses 155

Part 4: Seasonal Spirits and Superstitions
Chapter 11: Hallowe'en Celebrations: Ghosts, Goblins, and Grooms 177
Chapter 12: Christmas Ghost Stories: The Spirits of Midwinter 189

Conclusion 199

Glossary 201

Recommended Reading 203

Bibliography 205

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews