The central idea explored here by Brownson, having devastating possible consequences for the religious and scientific establishment, was the following: if science--that is mesmerism
or animal magnetism (having affinities with Baron Reichenbach's concept of the "od," or the doctrine regarding the "spirit of the world," very close to the Transcendentalist notion of the Oversoul, itself derived from Hinduism's idea of Atman or Mahatman / "Soul of the World," "Great Soul": Sanskr.
Sleep, Dickens proposes, will be taught by experts in "hypnology"--his facetious term for the art of inducing sleep without recourse to mesmerism
or narcotics--based at a central "school of Snoring for the Million" that will operate six days per week (with Sunday as a rest day) to impart sleeping skills to everyone from establishment grandees to the affluent middle classes to impoverished laborers and artisans.
Nayder supplies a fascinating account of normative Victorian experiences of family size, of women's experience of pregnancy and childbirth, of anaesthesia, mesmerism
, birth control, and childrearing.
phenomena, thus creating an intellectual and experiential context for the unorthodox, mesmerism
was important for the development of Spiritualism and mediumship in various ways.
Mediumship, psychical research, dissociation, and the powers of the subconscious mind/ Medialitat, psychische forschung, dissoziation und die krafte der unterbewussten psyche/ Mediumnidad, investigacion psiquica, disociacion, y poderes de la mente subconsciente/ Mediumnite, recherche psychique, dissociation, et les pouvoirs de l'esprit subconscient
The third chapter, "Identities and Powers in Flux," investigates the late Victorian anxiety over the boundary between the supernatural and the scientific by considering psychical researchers' attempts to draw a clear distinction between mesmerism
, an occult phenomenon, and hypnotism, a scientific one.
As for Terry herself, in August 1895 she is studying Volumnia in Coriolanus, "& don't care for it", and (warning Craig against overacting as Charles Surface) she remarks that in The Merchant of Venice her first Portia scene "(on the sofa--with Nerissa) is charming comedy, & when I force it, it goes for nothing but when one is very quiet and subtly enjoys it oneself it goes with mesmerism
between Actress & Audience" (Letter 592).
evolved into hypnotism when it was realized that the same effects could be achieved without the magnets Mesmer used.
Jour printer, by trade; do a little in patent medicines; theatre-actor--tragedy, you know; take a turn at mesmerism
and phrenology when there's a chance; teach singing-geography school for a change; sling a lecture sometimes--oh, I do lots of things--most anything that comes handy, so it ain't work.
With its origins in Mesmerism
, and later associations with mysticism, quackery, literary fiction and stage entertainment, it is understandable that formal research involving hypnosis was not always been valued or believed by mainstream science.
He also referred constantly to "the Phantom" that beset her, as Oates does with Maggs [Kaplan, Mesmerism
85; Dickens 184; Johnson 541-42].
In a convincing chapter on the importance of mesmerism
to nineteenth-century feminism, Beam shows how Fuller thought trance states might enable access to a feminine essence liberated from historical conditions but able to work back upon them.
It was, rather, a popular and diverse field of inquiry, composed of investigations in a number of different fields, including craniology, ethnology, physiology, mesmerism
, and phrenology.