Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-8

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-10

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xi

The idea for this book came to me in early June 1996. After a year of graduate school, I had managed to find a summer job in Paris as a translator of instruction manuals for medical equipment. On one of my first weekends in the city, prowling the Latin Quarter for jazz records,...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-14

In the summer of 1859, the pharmacist and retired army officer P. F. Mathieu submitted a long paper to the Académie des sciences. In it, he presented the results of a series of experiments he had undertaken with the help of a medium named Honorine Huet. One of...

read more

1. eInterpreting the Tables Tournantes, 1853–1856

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-63

Early in 1848, Kate and Maggie Fox, two young sisters in rural New York State, began to receive mysterious communications from the beyond. These took the form of “spirit raps,” sharp sounds that emanated from walls, furniture, or any other hard surface. Shortly after the raps first occurred...

read more

2. Mesmerism and the Challenge of Spiritualism, 1853–1859

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-94

At a séance held in the summer of 1859, a distinguished committee of French Mesmerists attempted to reach a definitive conclusion about the reality of spirit phenomena. These eight doctors, journalists, and idealistic bourgeois considered themselves uniquely qualified to answer...

read more

3. The Invention and Development of Spiritism,1857–1869

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 95-149

Contacting a spirit in France in 1867 was a markedly different experience from what it had been in 1859. Where séances had once taken place in darkness, they were now often held in lighted rooms. Physical contact between the séance participants was no longer considered an...

read more

4. Spiritism on Trial, 1870–1880

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 150-198

On the first anniversary of Allan Kardec’s death—March 31, 1870—a small group of Spiritists gathered at a construction site in the Père Lachaise cemetery. The monument they had come to inaugurate was a dolmen made of rough-hewn granite slabs, sheltering a bronze portrait...

read more

5. Confronting the Multivalent Self, 1880–1914

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 199-250

Among readers of guidebooks, the Universal Exposition of 1900 is usually remembered for giving Paris the Pont Alexandre III and the Grand Palais. It is less well-known for having inspired a flurry of international conventions. The Fourth International Congress of Psychology was...

read more

Epilogue: The Emergence of a New Heterodoxy

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 251-264

At three o’clock on a Sunday in mid-December 1919, a spirit society called L’OEuvre de la rénovation sociale met in the seventeenth arrondissement to commemorate the birth of Christ. The festivities began with a speech “on the Spiritist doctrine,” delivered by the society president...

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 265-280

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 281-293