The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947  book cover
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The Occult Imagination in Britain, 1875-1947





ISBN 9781472486981
Published December 21, 2017 by Routledge
278 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations

 
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Book Description

Between 1875 and 1947, a period bookended, respectively, by the founding of the Theosophical Society and the death of notorious occultist celebrity Aleister Crowley, Britain experienced an unparalleled efflorescence of engagement with unusual occult schema and supernatural phenomena such as astral travel, ritual magic, and reincarnationism. Reflecting the signal array of responses by authors, artists, actors, impresarios and popular entertainers to questions of esoteric spirituality and belief, this interdisciplinary collection demonstrates the enormous interest in the occult during a time typically associated with the rise of secularization and scientific innovation. The contributors describe how the occult realm functions as a turbulent conceptual and affective space, shifting between poles of faith and doubt, the sacrosanct and the profane, the endemic and the exotic, the forensic and the fetishistic. Here, occultism emerges as a practice and epistemology that decisively shapes the literary enterprises of writers such as Dion Fortune and Arthur Machen, artists such as Pamela Colman Smith, and revivalists such as Rolf Gardiner

Table of Contents



Table of Contents



Christine Ferguson: Introduction



Occulture Beyond the Metropole 





Chapter 1: Michael Shaw, "Theosophy in Scotland: Oriental Occultism and National Identity"





Chapter 2: Nick Daly, "The Everyday Occult on Stage: The Play of Lord Dunsany"





Chapter 3: Clare Button, " ‘A very perfect form of discipline’: Rolf Gardiner, folk dance and occult landscapes"



Occulting the Public Sphere





Chapter 4: Jake Poller, " ‘Under a Glamour’: Annie Besant, Charles Leadbeater and Neo-Theosophy"





Chapter 5: Nick Freeman, "The Black Magic Bogeyman 1908-1935"





Chapter 6: Elsa Richardson, "Stemming the Black Tide of Mud: Psychoanalysis and the Occult Periodical, 1910-1924"



Women’s Occulture





Chapter 7: Caroline Tully, "Egyptosophy in the British Museum: Florence Farr, the Egyptian Adept and the Ka"



Chapter 8: Dennis Denisoff, "Occult Synaesthetics and Pamela Colman Smith’s The Green Sheaf"



Chapter 9: Andrew Radford, "Anxieties of Mystic Influence: Dion Fortune’s The Winged Bull and Aleister Crowley"



Art, Fiction and Occult Intermediation





Chapter 10: Aren Roukema, "Naturalists in Ghost Land: Victorian Occultism and Science Fiction"





Chapter 11: Massimo Introvigne, "Painting the Masters in Britain: From Schmiechen to Scott"





Chapter 12: Steven Sutcliffe, " ‘Beating on Your Heart’: The Novels of David Lindsay and the Cultic Milieu in the 1920s"

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Editor(s)

Biography

Christine C. Ferguson is Senior Lecturer in English in the School of Criticial Studies and Andrew Radford is Lecturer in English in the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow, UK.