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Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood

Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood

Richardson, Elsa, author

This book explores the phenomenon of second sight in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Focusing on the nineteenth century, this book examines second sight in relation to mesmerism and phrenology, modern spiritualism and anthropology, romance literature and folklorism and finally, psychical research and Celtic mysticism. This book explores the phenomenon of second sight in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Second sight is a form of prophetic vision associated with the folklore of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Described in Gaelic as the An-da-shealladh or `the two sights', those in possession of this extraordinary power are said to foresee future events like the death of neighbour, the arrival of strangers into the community, the success or failure of a fishing trip. From the late seventeenth century onwards, rumours of this strange faculty attracted the attention of numerous scientists, travel writers, antiquarians, poets and artists. Focusing on the nineteenth century, this book examines second sight in relation to mesmerism and phrenology, modern spiritualism and anthropology, romance literature and folklorism and finally, psychical research and Celtic mysticism. Tracing the migration of a supposedly `Scottish' tradition through various sites of nineteenth-century popular culture, it explores questions of nationhood and identity alongside those posed by supernatural phenomena

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
1st ed. 2017.
Published Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017
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Details

Statement of responsibility: Elsa Richardson
ISBN: 1137519703, 9781137519702
Physical Description: 260 pages : illustrations (black and white)
Series: Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Subject: Fiction: general & literary; Literature; Ireland; Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900; Fiction & related items; Literature: history & criticism; United Kingdom, Great Britain
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9781137519696

Contents

  1. Introduction.- Chapter One
  2. Second Sight and the Creation of the Highlands.- Chapter Two
  3. Mesmerism, Phrenology and Supernatural History.- Chapter Three
  4. Primitive Spiritualism and Origin Stories.- Chapter Four
  5. Psychical Research, Folklore and Romance.- Chapter Five
  6. Research in the Field
  7. Ada Goodrich Freer and Fiona Macleod.- Conclusion.- Bibliography.- Index.