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A kaleidoscopic story of myth, Spiritualism, and the Victorian search for Utopia from one of the brightest and most original non-fiction writers at work today.
In 1908 English gentleman Ernest Westlake packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks he collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. Westlake believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities and unwittingly documented what he could not perceive: an Aboriginal people with a complex culture and a deep past.
Immortal Longings: FWH Myers and the Victorian search for life after death is the first full-length biography of Frederic W.H. Myers, leading figure in the Society for Psychical Research and friend and associate of Browning, Gladstone, Ruskin, Tennyson, Swinburne, Henry James, Prince Leopold and other influential Victorians. The book offers a fascinating insight into a key period in the development of Victorian thought. Among many things it covers: 1. Extraordinary Phenomena Myers investigated extraordinary phenomena, much of which is still reported today: out of body experiences and astral projection, near death experiences, poltergeists, gurus like Madame Blavatsky claiming strange powers, mediums both private and public, and haunted houses (for example, the giant warrior haunting a chateau near Heidelberg, the Cheltenham Ghost that was seen by a considerable number of people, and the odd doings at Ballechin House in Scotland which caused a scandal in the press. 2. Life After Death Investigations Myers believed he had virtually proved life after death by a) the link he thought established between hundreds of apparitions and living or dead human beings b) the messages that the outstanding mediums Mrs Piper and Mrs Thompson gave him from his first great love Annie and his intimate friend and co-worker Edmund Gurney which contained information the medium could not know and was delivered in a way highly characteristic of the personality concerned. 3. Automatic Writing Some researchers have claimed that he has returned after death and proved his continued existence through the automatic writings of a number of mediums in England, America, India. These writings continued for thirty years. 4. Romance & Suicide There is also love, tragedy and jealousy in Myers' life. His first great love Annie, a married woman, committed suicide and Myers' wife, a rather possessive person, tried to prevent any detail about this being made public after his death, even though the relationship was platonic. This inhibited the work of researchers who were trying to verify the 'post-mortem' communications from Myers, since, for many years, they could not check the facts. 5. Credibility Myers researches led him to forming a view about human personality and psychology which Aldous Huxley has said is much richer than Freud's.
From his childhood fascination with the gigantic Natural History Museum model of a blue whale, to his abiding love of Moby-Dick, to his adult encounters with the living animals in the Atlantic Ocean, the acclaimed writer Philip Hoare has been obsessed with whales. The Whale is his unforgettable and moving attempt to explain why these strange and beautiful animals exert such a powerful hold on our imagination.
This book asks about the cultural and political meanings of spiritualism in the Nineteenth century United States. In order to re-assess both transatlantic spiritualism and the culture in which it emerged, Bennet locates spiritualism within a highly technologized transatlantic capitalist culture.
Astrology is a major feature of contemporary popular culture. Recent research indicates that 99% of adults in the modern west know their birth sign. In the modern west astrology thrives as part of our culture despite being a pre-Christian, pre-scientific world-view. Medieval and Renaissance Europe marked the high water mark for astrology. It was a subject of high theological speculation, was used to advise kings and popes, and to arrange any activity from the beginning of battles to the most auspicious time to have one's hair cut. Nicholas Campion examines the foundation of modern astrology in the medieval and Renaissance worlds. Spanning the period between the collapse of classical astrology in the fifth century and the rise of popular astrology on the web in the twentieth, Campion challenges the historical convention that astrology flourished only between the twelfth and seventeenth centuries. Concluding with a discussion of astrology's popularity and appeal in the twenty-first century, Campion asks whether it should be seen as an integral part of modernity or as an element of the post-modern world.
Navigating between human and natural history and between science and myth, chronicles the author's journey through the oceans to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts, and to seek encounters with animals and people.

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