Spiritualism in literature, Occultism--Great Britain--History--19th century, English prose literature--19th century--History and criticism, Occultism in literature, Religion and culture--Great Britain--History--19th century, and Spiritualism--Great Britain--History--19th century
Spirit Matters explores the heterodox and unorthodox religions and spiritualities that arose in Victorian Britain as a result of the faltering of Christian faith in the face of modernity, the rise of the truth-telling authority of science, and the first full exposure of the West to non-Christian religions. J. Jeffrey Franklin investigates the diversity of ways that spiritual seekers struggled to maintain faith or to create new faiths by reconciling elements of the Judeo-Christian heritage with Spiritualism, Buddhism, occultism, and scientific naturalism. Spirit Matters covers a range of scenarios from the Victorian hearth and the state-Church altar to the frontiers of empire in Buddhist countries and Egyptian crypts. Franklin reveals how this diversity of elements provided the materials for the formation of new hybrid religions and the emergence in the 20th century of New Age spiritualities.Franklin investigates a broad spectrum of experiences through a series of representative case studies that together trace the development of unorthodox religious and spiritual discourses. The ideas and events discussed by Franklin through these case studies were considered outside the domain of orthodox religion yet still religious or spiritual rather than atheistic or materialistic. Among the works—obscure and canonical—he analyzes are Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Zanoni and A Strange Story; Forest Life in Ceylon, by William Knighton; Anthony Trollope's The Vicar of Bullhampton; Anna Leonowens's The English Governess at the Siamese Court; Literature and Dogma, by Matthew Arnold; and Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Popular culture--Great Britain--History--19th century, Spiritualism--Great Britain--History--20th century, Spiritualism--United States--History--19th century, Seances--United States--History--19th century, Popular culture--United States--History--19th century, and Seances--Great Britain--History--19th century
In Supernatural Entertainments, Simone Natale vividly depicts spiritualism's rise as a religious and cultural phenomenon and explores its strong connection to the growth of the media entertainment industry in the nineteenth century. He frames the spiritualist movement as part of a new commodity culture that changed how public entertainments were produced and consumed.Starting with the story of the Fox sisters, considered the first spiritualist mediums in history, Natale follows the trajectory of spiritualism in Great Britain and the United States from its foundation in 1848 to the beginning of the twentieth century. He demonstrates that spiritualist mediums and leaders adopted many of the promotional strategies and spectacular techniques that were being developed for the broader entertainment industry. Spiritualist mediums were indistinguishable from other professional performers, as they had managers and agents, advertised in the press, and used spectacularism to draw audiences.Addressing the overlap between spiritualism's explosion and nineteenth-century show business, Natale provides an archaeology of how the supernatural became a powerful force in the media and popular culture of today.
Literature and spiritualism--Great Britain--History--20th century, Literature and spiritualism--Great Britain--History--19th century, Spiritualism--United States--History--20th century, Literature and spiritualism--United States--History--19th century, Literature and spiritualism--United States--History--20th century, Spiritualism--United States--History--19th century, Spiritualism--Great Britain--History--20th century, and Spiritualism--Great Britain--History--19th century
Examines the Spiritualist movement's role in disseminating eugenic and hard hereditarian thought.Studying transatlantic spiritualist literature from the mid-19th to the early 20th century, Christine Ferguson focuses on its incorporation and dissemination of bio-determinist and eugenic thought. She asks why ideas about rational reproduction, hereditary determinism and race improvement became so important to spiritualist novelists, journalists and biographers in this period. She also examines how these concerns drove emerging Spiritualist understandings of disability, intelligence, crime, conception, the afterlife and aesthetic production. The book draws on rare material, including articles and serialized fiction from Spiritualist periodicals such as Light, The Two Worlds and The Medium and Daybreak as well as on Spiritualist healing, parentage and sex manuals.Key Features: •The first major study of Transatlantic Spiritualism's sustained commitment to eugenics, bio-determinism and hard hereditarianism •Devotes a chapter to eugenic and raciological writing of Paschal Beverly Randolph, the nineteenth-century African-American Rosicrucian and sex magician whose work has only recently been rediscovered by scholars • Interdisciplinary and historicist methodology • The rich transatlantic reading demonstrates the continuity and influence between British and American Spiritualist writings on the body, reproduction and mental fitness