1886-1887 - SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH - OCCULT SPIRITS GHOSTS PSYCHIC
Title:PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH 1886–1887, Volume 4
Author: Society For Psychical Research
Publisher: Trubner and Co. City: London Year: 1887 (First Edition) Binding Style: Hardcover Pagination: 605 pages, Plus Index Illustrated: Yes
Book Details + Condition: Very scarce first edition, original copy of "Proceedings of the Society For Psychical Research" covering the years 1886-1887. Publisher's original green boards with gilt title, etc. on spine. The boards and binding are sold and tight with minimal shelfwear. Slight lean. The pages are crisp and clean, and free of interior markings. Contents include: Experiments in Muscle-Reading and Thought Transference; Human Personality and Hypnotic Suggestion; Spiritualistic Phenomena Witnessed by the Author, Professor W.F. Barrett, Spiritism Phenomena; Calculus of Probabilities Applied to Psychical Research; Experiments in Thought Transference; Accounts of Spiritualistic Seances; Experiments in Automatic Writing and much more. Notable contributing authors include: Frank Podmore, Edmund Gurney, F.W.H. Myers, Richard Hodgson, Balfour Stewart, W.F. Barrett and more. Please see our other listings for sale of first editions of THE SOCIETY OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, as well as information about the organization below.
Created in 1884, The Society of Psychical Research was the first of its kind tasked to understand events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal. Areas of study included hypnotism, dissociation, thought-transference, mediumship, spirit possession, apparitions and haunted houses and the physical phenomena associated with séances. The JSPR were the first to introduce a number of neologisms which have entered the English language, such as 'telepathy', which was coined by Frederic Myers. Much of the early work involved investigating, exposing and in some cases duplicating fake phenomena. In the late 19th century, SPR investigations into séance phenomena led to the exposure of many fraudulent mediums. Richard Hodgson distinguished himself in that area. In 1884, Hodgson was sent by the SPR to India to investigate Helena Blavatsky and concluded that her claims of psychic power were fraudulent.
In 1886 and 1887 a series of publications by S.J. Davey, Hodgson and Sidgwick in the SPR journal exposed the slate writing tricks of the medium William Eglinton. Hodgson with his friend, S. J. Davey had staged fake séances for educating the public. Davey gave sittings under an assumed name, duplicating the phenomena produced by Eglinton, and then proceeded to point out to the sitters the manner in which they had been deceived. Because of this, some spiritualist members such as Stainton Moses resigned from the SPR. Among the Societies first important works of the was the two-volume publication in 1886, Phantasms of the Living, concerning telepathy and apparitions, co-authored by Gurney, Myers and Frank Podmore.In 1891, Alfred Russel Wallace requested for the Society to properly investigate spirit photography. Eleanor Sidgwick responded with a critical paper in the SPR which cast doubt on the subject and discussed the fraudulent methods that spirit photographers such as Édouard Isidore Buguet, Frederic Hudson and William H. Mumler had utilized.