Modern Spiritualism by Frank Podmore


Modern Spiritualism by Frank Podmore, published in 1902. ​A very good set, bright and square. Light foxing to endpapers and page edges. Former owner name in contemporary sepia ink on endpapers. A good deal of good, if skeptical, advice on the topics and persons covered in detail, with which Podmore was directly and personally acquainted. Modern Spiritualism was the first comprehensive history of the Spiritualist movement. Podmore traces the historical development of Spiritualism from its earliest origins in animal magnetism and alchemy, to its apogee in the early nineteenth century and through to its decline from 1870 onwards, which Podmore associated with the growth of professional psychics and an increase in fraud. Volume 1 covers the key figures of the movement: Paracelsus, Mesmer, Bertrand, Esdaile, and Andrew Jackson Davis. Book 1 focuses on French, English and German Spiritualism and Book 2 on American Spiritualism and its beginnings in Arcadia. The volume includes invaluable accounts of scientific investigations into possession, poltergeists, clairvoyance, and trances. Podmore was a leading member of the Victorian Society for Psychical Research and his work remains an indispensable source for the modern-day historian of nineteenth-century Spiritualism and occult practices.