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Spiritualism , Mesmerism, Psychical Reseach

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  • Facts in Mesmerism –  With Reasons for a dispassionate inquiry into it by Rev Chauncy Hare Townshend – Very Scarce First Edition 1840

    Facts in Mesmerism – With Reasons for a dispassionate inquiry into it by Rev Chauncy Hare Townshend – Very Scarce First Edition 1840

    An extremely rare First edition, published by Longman, London 1840

    An extensive study and defence of mesmerism by Chancy Hare Townshend (1798-1868) and English priest, poet, collector of natural history and a man with a passionate interest in mesmerism. He was a good friend of Charles Dickens who dedicated “Great Expectations” to him [Townshend had the manuscript of Great Expectations at the time of his death].

    Mesmerism (named after Franz Mesmer) a hypnosis based on the theory of animal magnetism. Due to its spiritual associations and uncanny effects it was controversial in the early 19th century. Towsnhend describes in detail the mental states mesmerism induces, which he defines as similar to a state of sleepwalking. Fascinating content including the accounts of experiments carried out by the author in which he hypnotised his subjects into feeling his own sensations and possessing knowledge that they could not have known.

    Townshend has quite a Wikipedia write up and the hilarious meeting with poet John Clare is worth a read

    Rare and valuable first edition of an early work on Mesmerism


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  • The Unknown Guest [and Other Essays] – Maurice Maeterlinck

    The Unknown Guest [and Other Essays] – Maurice Maeterlinck

    The Unknown Guest by Nobel Prize winning author, playwright and poet Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck. Published by Methuen, London in 1925 a fourth printing. Bound in original green cloth, 340 pages some flecking to soft paper page edges but generally a pretty good copy of a hard to get book.

    An unusual group of essays including the title offering we have … Phantasms of the Living and the Dead; Psychometry; the Knowledge of the Future and The Elberfield Horses.

    An intellectual potpourri if there ever was one.


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  • The Constitution of Man – George Combe – 1871

    The Constitution of Man – George Combe – 1871

    An 1871 edition of this important book published by MacLachlan and Stewart, Edinburgh. Over 350 page in very good condition still tight in its original cloth binding with rich dark green endpapers.

    George Combe (1788-1858) was an ardent phrenologist and writer. Born in Edinburgh he founded the Edinburgh Phrenological Society in 1820. He led the field there for over twenty years and this was his great work.

    Originally a lawyer with a successful practice. In 1816 Johann Spurzheim came to Edinburgh and Combe was invited to a private dissection of the human brain which greatly impressed him. This spurred him on to make his own investigations and he was satisfied that the fundamental principles of phrenology were sound, namely “that the brain is the organ of the mind; that the brain is an aggregate of several parts, each subserving a distinct mental faculty; and that the size of the cerebral organ is, caeteris paribus, and index of power or energy of function”.

    Many of the principles set out in The Constitution of Man would challenge modern morality.

    Combe – Distinguished in his field


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  • Hafed – Prince of Persia – Duguid and Nisbet

    Hafed – Prince of Persia – Duguid and Nisbet

    A sixth edition published in London by Foulsham and Glasgow by Nisbet in 1923. Original green cloth binding, a substantial book of 579 pages, a clean copy with a religious picture pasted in at the rear and with manuscript reference notes to the text inside back cover. A very good copy.

    The lengthy title page explains … His Experiences in Earth-Life and Spirit-Life being Spirit Communications received through Mr David Duguid, the Glasgow Trance Painting Medium, with an Appendix, containing Communications from Spirit Artists, Ruisadal and Steen. Illustrated by fac-similes of various Drawings and Writings the Direct Work of the Spirits

    Originally published in 1876, taken down in notes by the publisher Hay Nisbet, and representing Duguid’s famous guide “Hafed”. Dictated in 46 sittings between 1870 and 1871. The climax of his story was reached when he revealed that he conducted the expedition of the Three Wise Men to Judea to the cradle of Jesus. He was summoned by his guardian spirit to go on the journey with two brother magi and take rich gifts to the babe. He described the youthful years of Jesus that are not chronicled in the Gospels. According to his story, he travelled with Jesus in Persia, India, and many other countries and marvelled at the miracles the young child performed. After the martyrdom of Jesus he became a Christian himself, met Paul in Athens, preached the gospel in Venice and Alexandria, and finally perished at age 100 in the arena at Rome.

    Hafed Travelled with Jesus and told Duguid


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  • The Problems of Psychical Research – Hereward Carrington – 1914

    The Problems of Psychical Research – Hereward Carrington – 1914

    A first edition 1914 Carrington with a number of book of a spiritual kind here offers “Experiments and Theories in the Realm of the Supernormal”.

    A superb volume with intense detail … Life and its interpretation; hallucination and the physical phenomena of spiritualism; the problems of telepathy; Psychic experiences … Spirits or teleological automatisms, spontaneous physical phenomena, a modern poltergeist. Also witchcraft and scientific truths in fairy stories.

    Very good condition except for pages 196/7 which have suffered from having something inserted which when removed has left remnant and worn pages … all text readable … and a hard to find relevant book. Priced accordingly.

    Comprehensive and provoking


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  • Spiritualism – The Report of the Seybert Commission

    Spiritualism – The Report of the Seybert Commission

    Henry Seybert was an enthusiastic believer in Modern Spiritualism. On his death he left money to the cause and one consequence was the appointment of a Commission to investigate and report on certain elements.

    The results were published in the 1880’s and again here in this edition of 1920 which includes the introduction of Furness. The report contains full detail (transcriptions) of many live tests they observed and a review of Spiritual Photography; Mediumistic Development; Sealed Letters; Materialization etc. We are particularly intrigued by the experiments on “Slate Writing”.

    Seybert’s Report – Did He Read It?


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