Critical attention to the Victorian supernatural has flourished over the last twenty-five years. Whether it is spiritualism or Theosophy, mesmerism or the occult, the dozens of book-length studies and hundreds of articles that have appeared recently reflect the avid scholarly discussion of Victorian mystical practices. Designed both for those new to the field and for experts, this volume is organized into sections covering the relationship between Victorian spiritualism and science, the occult and politics, and the culture of mystical practices. The Ashgate Research Companion to Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism and the Occult brings together some of the most prominent scholars working in the field to introduce current approaches to the study of nineteenth-century mysticism and to define new areas for research.
'This is an outstanding guide to the current state of scholarship in an area that has become central to our understanding of nineteenth-century culture. The editors have put together a well-conceived array of essays on a range of spiritualist and occult practices, and the individual essays are uniformly well-informed and smart. Both experts in the field and students will find it extremely valuable.' Adela Pinch, University of Michigan, USA '... the editors and contributors have delivered firstclass research. Seen as a mostly literary research companion for academics and students, it admirably fulfils its role.' Fortean Times What is refreshing about this volume by Kontou and Willburn is that it not only synthesises existing research from many of the top scholars in the field, but it also introduces new areas for study...[covering] a vast range of topics that have the potential to enthuse new students as well as informing on-going research in the field.’ Journal of Victorian Culture '... a welcome addition. [It] ... introduces new theoretical and conceptual models in thinking about spiritual and cultural practices of the long nineteenth century. ... the collection offers an excellent point of entry into the topic of Victorian mysticism.' Victorian Studies '[This book] will naturally be of interest to scholars of the fantastic. Well chosen and scrupulously edited, it is a good choice for libraries ... The breadth and depth of Tantou and Willburn's scholarship and that of their contributors makes this a useful and engaging work.' Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts