PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY FOR PSYCHICAL RESEARCH - 1886-1887, Volume 4
Book Details + Condition: Trubner and Co. (London). First Edition, 1887. Hardcover. 605 pages, with Index to front. Illustrated. Scarce first edition, original copy of PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH from 1886-87. Publisher's original green cloth boards with gilt title, etc. to spine. Contents of this volume 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 others. This volume includes a series of publications by S.J. Davey, Hodgson and Sidgwick that 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. Please see our other listings for more first editions of THE SOCIETY OF PSYCHICAL RESEARCH, as well as information about the organization below. In very good condition, with firm binding; lightly rubbed corners and edges; light foxing to first and last few pages; top corner of title & Contents pages torn off; interior is clean and free of markings.
The Society for Psychical Research was created in 1882, with Henry Sidgwick serving as its first president. Its stated purpose was to apply scientific methods to the investigation of psychic phenomena and the paranormal. Areas of study included hypnotism, dissociation, thought-transference, mediumship, spirit possession, apparitions and haunted houses and the physical phenomena associated with séances. The SPR 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. Among its most renowned members were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Price, and William T. Stead.