The difference between mesmerism and nervous sympathy is that, whereas mesmerism operates on the basis of the mesmerist
's will, the action of nervous sympathy is unconscious.
Accounts of the practice indeed suggest that the mesmeric subject often lost all speech and hearing unless the mesmerist
Thus, in mesmerism the active will power of the mesmerist
is the crucial factor; while in mediumism what is essential is the degree of passiveness that the will can attain--the higher the degree, the better the results.
Also like Whitman in the 1842 editorial, this writer makes his case in part by distancing himself from the practitioners and promoters of mesmerism: they are "the Mesmerists
," not he.
Robert Darnton notes that "postrevolutionary mesmerists
developed their own version of the ideas that characterized spiritualism in general," including pantheism.
(2) All of the forms of care present then are still present today including botanical medicine ("Thomsonians"), health food ("Grahamites"), homeopathy, hydrotherapy, healing touch ("mesmerists
"), osteopathy, naturopathy, chiropracty, and Christian Science.
Midwives, herbalists, mesmerists
, and other healers among the slaves on the Caribbean island treated their fellow slaves, white residents, and non-human animals with their own combination of Western, African, and Caribbean remedies.
Alan Bewell starts the issue with a broad survey of colonial natural history and its place as a discursive site for colonial conceptions and relationships; George Gilpin explores Blake's use and abuse of John Hunter's anatomical and implicitly forensic science to advance an integrated and Romantic science of life; Tim Fulford evokes the vital fluid of Romantic mesmerists
to summon and query the politics and poetics of the 1790s; Stuart Peterfreund examines the Romantic transformations of Paracelsus' neglected science of affinities in Frankenstein; and Eric Wilson reads Thoreau and American transcendentalism through the life formations and the transparencies of Romantic crystallography.
That a woman should challenge the mesmerists
, that she should try to shake Americans from their complacent trust in their own government and most powerful corporations, dismayed not just the chemical companies and their colleagues in research universities.
The relationship of the mesmerist
to the mesmeric subject raised issues of power and control between individuals, classes, and (since most mesmerists
were men and most subjects women) the sexes.
The emergence of the modern double and such a fascination for duality in Europ ean literary texts (especially around the 1820s) originates with the magical sciences of the eighteenth century, with the interest of mesmerists
in an experimental separation of the second self being taken up in various ways by Romantic writers and artists.
For example, a picture of a contemporary operating theater, or the carefully annotated political cartoons showing Victoria and Peel as successful mesmerists
(thus demonstrating the power of the mesmerizer and the inferiority of the mesmerized subject), are exciting testimonies to her argument; whereas portraits of Dionysius Lar dner or Thomas Wakley, or even the playbill showing Charles Dickens as an actor in a private performance of Inchbald's Animal Magnetism, are of marginal interest.