As the articles in this book demonstrate the occult was after all a female affair. This book was published as a special issue of Women's Writing.
Author: Tatiana Kontou
Category: Literary Criticism
Increasingly, contemporary scholarship reveals the strong connection between Victorian women and the world of the nineteenth-century supernatural. Women were intrinsically bound to the occult and the esoteric from mediums who materialised spirits to the epiphanic experiences of the New Woman, from theosophy to telepathy. This volume addresses the various ways in which Victorian women expressed themselves and were constructed by the occult through a broad range of texts. By examining the roles of women as automatic writing mediums, spiritualists, authors, editors, theosophists, socialists and how they interpreted the occult in their life and work, the contributors in this edition return to sensation novels, ghost stories, autobiographies, séances and fashionable magazines to access the visible and invisible worlds of Victorian life. The variety of texts analysed by the authors in this collection demonstrates the many interpretations of the occult in nineteenth-century culture and the ways that women used supernatural imagery and language to draw attention to issues that bore immediate implications on their own lives. Either by catering for the fad of ghost stories or by giving public trance speeches women harnessed the metaphorical and financial forces of the supernatural. As the articles in this book demonstrate the occult was after all a female affair. This book was published as a special issue of Women's Writing.
The book explores the Victorian Myth of Occult Womanhood and argues that the notion of female occult power was deeply influenced by the advent of Mesmerism, Spiritualism and Theosophy.
Author: D. Basham
The Trial of Woman examines the impact of the nineteenth-century 'Occult Revival' on the Victorian Women's Movement, both in the lives of individual women and in the literature surrounding 'the Woman Question'. The book explores the Victorian Myth of Occult Womanhood and argues that the notion of female occult power was deeply influenced by the advent of Mesmerism, Spiritualism and Theosophy. This myth was itself a determining factor in women's struggle for legal and political rights.
Using a wide range of unexplored archival material, this book examines the 'spectral' influence of Victorian spiritualism and Psychical Research on women's writing, analyzing the ways in which modern writers have both subverted and mimicked ...
Author: T. Kontou
Category: Literary Criticism
Using a wide range of unexplored archival material, this book examines the 'spectral' influence of Victorian spiritualism and Psychical Research on women's writing, analyzing the ways in which modern writers have both subverted and mimicked nineteenth century sources in their evocation of the séance.
A highly original study that examines the central role played by women as mediums, healers, and believers during the golden age of spiritualism in the late Victorian era, The Darkened Room is more than a meditation on women mediums—it's ...
Author: Alex Owen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
A highly original study that examines the central role played by women as mediums, healers, and believers during the golden age of spiritualism in the late Victorian era, The Darkened Room is more than a meditation on women mediums—it's an exploration of the era's gender relations. The hugely popular spiritualist movement, which maintained that women were uniquely qualified to commune with spirits of the dead, offered female mediums a new independence, authority, and potential to undermine conventional class and gender relations in the home and in society. Using previously unexamined sources and an innovative approach, Alex Owen invokes the Victorian world of darkened séance rooms, theatrical apparitions, and moving episodes of happiness lost and regained. She charts the struggles between spiritualists and the medical and legal establishments over the issue of female mediumship, and provides new insights into the gendered dynamics of Victorian society.
In the context of the Victorian fascination with occult practices5 two women play a pivotal role, because their life-writing provides exemplary attempts at explaining and making credible the complex interplay of a woman's perspective ...
Author: Miriam Wallraven
Category: Literary Criticism
Examining the intersection of occult spirituality, text, and gender, this book provides a compelling analysis of the occult revival in literature from the 1880s through the course of the twentieth century. Bestselling novels such as The Da Vinci Code play with magic and the fascination of hidden knowledge, while occult and esoteric subjects have become very visible in literature during the twentieth century. This study analyses literature by women occultists such as Alice Bailey, Dion Fortune, and Starhawk, and revisits texts with occult motifs by canonical authors such as Sylvia Townsend Warner, Leonora Carrington, and Angela Carter. This material, which has never been analysed in a literary context, covers influential movements such as Theosophy, Spiritualism, Golden Dawn, Wicca, and Goddess spirituality. Wallraven engages with the question of how literature functions as the medium for creating occult worlds and powerful identities, particularly the female Lucifer, witch, priestess, and Goddess. Based on the concept of ancient wisdom, the occult in literature also incorporates topical discourses of the twentieth century, including psychoanalysis, feminism, pacifism, and ecology. Hence, as an ever-evolving discursive universe, it presents alternatives to religious truth claims that often lead to various forms of fundamentalism that we encounter today. This book offers a ground-breaking approach to interpreting the forms and functions of occult texts for scholars and students of literary and cultural studies, religious studies, sociology, and gender studies.
Tatiana Kontou's collection Women and the Victorian Occult addresses primarily literary themes of women and the occult while Per Faxneld's Satanic Feminism: Lucifer as the Liberator of Woman in Nineteenth Century Culture. remains a ...
Author: Amy Hale
Publisher: Springer Nature
This book is the first collection to feature histories of women in Western Esotericism while also highlighting womens scholarship. In addition to providing a critical examination of important and under researched figures in the history of Western Esotericism, these fifteen essays also contribute to current debates in the study of esotericism about the very nature of the field itself. The chapters are divided into four thematic sections that address current topics in the study of esotericism: race and othering, femininity, power and leadership and embodiment. This collection not only adds important voices to the story of Western Esotericism, it hopes to change the way the story is told. Amy Hale is an anthropologist and folklorist specializing in contemporary esoteric history, art and culture. Co-edited collections include New Directions in Celtic Studies, and The Journal of the Academic Study of Magic 5. She has written widely on surrealist and occultist Ithell Colquhoun, and is the author of the Colquhoun biography Genius of the Fern Loved Gully.
Here, “occult” refers to both the Victorian occult (occult practices taken up by women during the Victorian age in Britain) and American Spiritualism. Although Spiritualism did indeed offer unique opportunities to women in terms of ...
Author: Peg A. Lamphier
Category: Social Science
This four-volume set documents the complexity and richness of women's contributions to American history and culture, empowering all students by demonstrating a more populist approach to the past. • Provides significantly more detail than typical reference works on women's history and culture, enabling readers to better appreciate the contributions of women of all socio-cultural statuses • Covers the astounding range of American women's experience, including women of various economic and racial statuses, religious affiliations, political and ideological identifications, and sexualities • Includes a significant selection of primary documents, thereby combining the educational power of secondary and primary literature to create a richer learning experience for users
Schlossberg, Conflict and Crisis in the Religious Life of Late Victorian England; Symondson, The Victorian Crisis of Faith; ... and Women's Writing From the Fin de Siècle to the Neo-Victorian; Kontou, Women and the Victorian Occult; ...
Author: Sarah Bartels
In recent decades, there has been a growing recognition of the significance of the supernatural in a Victorian context. Studies of nineteenth-century spiritualism, occultism, magic, and folklore have highlighted that Victorian England was ridden with spectres and learned magicians. Despite this growing body of scholarship, little historiographical work has addressed the Devil. This book demonstrates the significance of the Devil in a Victorian context, emphasising his pervasiveness and diversity. Drawing on a rich array of primary material, including theological and folkloric works, fiction, newspapers and periodicals, and broadsides and other ephemera, it uses the diabolic to explore the Victorians' complex and ambivalent relationship with the supernatural. Both the Devil and hell were theologically contested during the nineteenth century, with an increasing number of both clergymen and laypeople being discomfited by the thought of eternal hellfire. Nevertheless, the Devil continued to play a role in the majority of English denominations, as well as in folklore, spiritualism, occultism, popular culture, literature, and theatre. The Devil and the Victorians will appeal to readers interested in nineteenth-century English cultural and religious history, as well as the darker side of the supernatural.
their British counterparts, French spiritualists and occultists, despite several attempts, were unable to unite ... Allen goes on to discuss Lévi's comparison of such a woman with the 176 Victorian Occultism and the Making of Modern Magic.
Author: A. Butler
The late Victorian period witnessed the remarkable revival of magical practice and belief. Butler examines the individuals, institutions and literature associated with this revival and demonstrates how Victorian occultism provided an alternative to the tightening camps of science and religion in a social environment that nurtured magical beliefs.