Good bits of Culture on Victorian Science & Spiritualism

Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 08:09 am
I've started a lot of these type of threads recently but you're all so good at giving me answers so I hope you'll forgive another one.

I'm writing a libretto for an opera about W.T Stead who was a late 19th Century journalist who had an obsession with contacting dead spirits. He believed he was in contact with a spirit called Julia (an American woman he had met once) for a number of years, contacting her through 'automatic writing'. He attempted to make a empirically valid method of contacting spirits through something he called 'Julia's Bureau', where three mediums would contact a particular spirit without having had any contact with each other prior to or after the event.

Obviously this was an idea very much in keeping with the spirit of the age (not deliberate naff pun), where people were excited by the new horizons afforded by scientific methods even though they were unable to imagine exactly how this would take shape.

I'm looking for any good bits of culture (documentaries/books/films etc.) that might give me an interest into the late 19th cenutry mindset, into Victorian attitudes to science and to spiritualism more generally.
I've already read quite a bit about Conan Doyle and watched The Prestige but that's about it.

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Val Killmore
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 08:33 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Why don't you get your lazy ass to a decent library and ask the reference desk or maybe ask the aid of a research assistant, and do your own research to get "Good bits of Culture on Victorian Science & Spiritualism" and to get "into the late 19th century mindset?"
I'm sure Cambridge, being a public research university, taught you this, so do it, ya lazy bum.
The Pentacle Queen
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 09:04 am
@Val Killmore,
Hahaha. Yes it did but it doesn't list every TV program, novel and film that relate to the subject, and google doesn't tell you which bits of popular culture are good or not. I trust people on here Smile
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Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 09:53 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Check out "Theosophy", in particular Helena Blavatsky.
Reply Sun 30 Dec, 2012 10:23 am
Spiritual Rationalism was attributed to Alfred Russell Wallace, who is, by many, attributed to be a co developer of evolutionary theory.
He was an ADD bug collector who had a smattering of an idea and wrote about 15 pages of "stamp collecting science" and was given equal credit witnDarwin by many PC oriented historians.
Wallaces adoption of spiritualism was a sort of outgrowth of his views in biology.
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