Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Paperback, 406 pages. New.
An Anglican clergyman and founding member of the Society of the Holy Cross, Charles Maurice Davies (1828-1910) first published Mystic London in 1875. This book is a collection of Davies’ observations and researches into Urban Spiritualism. Davies, who became an ardent Spiritualist following the death of his son in 1865, argues that Spiritualism does not pose any threat to Christianity, and indeed, that the two movements have much in common and would do well to learn to coexist peacefully. His text reveals fascinating glimpses of the London Spiritualist scene – its mesmerists and mediums; astrologers and phrenologists; discussions of Darwinism, secularism, and religious diversity.
Mystic London offers a fascinating glimpse into Victorian attitudes to, and experiences of, the supernatural and the occult; the debates and discussions, and the reception of Spiritualism in all walks of life. An enthralling book for students of occult history as it is lived.