The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England

The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England

by Alex Owen

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Overview

The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England by Alex Owen

A highly original study that examines the central role played by women as mediums, healers, and believers during the golden age of spiritualism in the late Victorian era, The Darkened Room is more than a meditation on women mediums—it's an exploration of the era's gender relations.

The hugely popular spiritualist movement, which maintained that women were uniquely qualified to commune with spirits of the dead, offered female mediums a new independence, authority, and potential to undermine conventional class and gender relations in the home and in society.

Using previously unexamined sources and an innovative approach, Alex Owen invokes the Victorian world of darkened séance rooms, theatrical apparitions, and moving episodes of happiness lost and regained. She charts the struggles between spiritualists and the medical and legal establishments over the issue of female mediumship, and provides new insights into the gendered dynamics of Victorian society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226642055
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 04/28/2004
Edition description: 1
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 1,148,385
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Alex Owen is a professor of history and gender studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of The Place of Enchantment, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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