Spiritualism and Women's Writing
From the Fin de Siècle to the Neo-Victorian
|Publication Date||October 2009|
|Formats||Ebook (PDF) Hardcover|
This original and imaginative study examines the influence of Victorian spiritualism and Psychical Research on a variety of modern and contemporary female authors. It explores both the material and ghostly connections between women's writing - particularly the work of Michèle Roberts, A.S. Byatt, Victoria Glendinning and Sarah Waters - and the practice of mediumship in the nineteenth century. For the first time, it provides a sustained analysis of how and why the haunted world of Victorian spiritualism has been appropriated and reimagined in late twentieth-century fiction. In addition, it shows how many of the apparently unprecedented innovations of modernism are in fact already present in the rituals, performances and documents of the Victorian séance. Supported by compelling archival research throughout, the book not only demonstrates how a unique selection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts are bound together by phantasmal ties but also shows how spiritualism forces us to reconsider our wider understanding of history, narrative and the afterlife.