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Philosophy of Animal Magnetism: The
Philadelphia: Printed and published by Merrihew & Gunn, 1837. "Mesmerism - Also Known as Animal Magnetism" [POE, Edgar Allan]. The Philosophy of Animal Magnetism: Together with the system of manipulating adopted to produce ecstacy and somnabulism - the effects and the rationale. By a Gentleman of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Printed and published by Merrihew & Gunn, 1837. First edition. Small octavo (6 7/8 x 4 3/8 inches; 174 x 111 mm.). [1-5], 6-84, [4, blank] pp. Some light staining to a few pages. Publisher's buff boards printed in black. Early spine renewal in tan cloth. Some wear and rubbing to boards, overall an excellent example of this very scarce little book. Housed in alter quarter tan calf over cockerel boards clamshell case, spine ruled and lettered in gilt. "Authorship of the volume has been attributed to Poe, by Joseph Jackson of Philadelphia , who reprinted it with an essay, in a private edition, 1928." (Heartmann & Canny). "One of the popular offshoots of medicine in the late eighteenth century was mesmerism. A forerunner of modern hypnotism, this pseudo-science took its name from Frans Anton Mesmer, a Vienna-trained German doctor, who professed to heal his patients by a subtle fluid - animal magnetism. Mesmerism began as a respectable attempt to solve certain problems in medical science and came into disrepute when Mesmer's imitators made more extravagant claims for it than its founder ever sanctioned. Even though he was bitterly attacked by orthodox physicians, Mesmer attained great popularity on continental Europe, and many psychologists today think that he did a service in focusing attention on the mental element in healing bodily disease. Although mesmerism - also known as animal magnetism - was a live issue in France in the 1820s, it was not until the 1830s that it created much stir in the United States. According to one historian of the subject, "Animal magnetism was first brought to America in a more or less orthodox form by Du Commun, a pupil of Puységur, in 1829..." And in 1836, Charles Poyen, called "the most prominent mesmerizer practicing in the United States during the first half of the century,... a personal friend of Deleuze and Puységur, was lecturing in Maine and had appeared before the faculty of Brown University." (Carroll Dee Laverty). The The Philosophy of Animal Magnetism was attributed most convincingly to Edgar Allan Poe by Joseph Jackson, in 1928. The theory of Animal Magnetism became the basis of a treatment in Europe and the United States. It was popular in the nineteenth century, with a strong societal impact. From some of the practices of Animal Magnetism branched out Hypnotism, Spiritualism, New Thought, so-called "Magnetic Healing", and Parapsychological research. The book is thus of great cultural and historical significance as a seminal Supernatural work. "Animal magnetism" here is a form of mesmerism, not a psychic thing but more like electricity, an invisible but real force that can be used to manipulate the human mind and body for the good. This book was attributed to Edgar Allan Poe in a 1928 book by Joseph Jackson, for which Jackson has received considerable blowback. It is very scarce, only recorded by Heartmann & Canny. It is also an occult rarity, not known to Caillet. Heartmann & Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, pp. 37-38.
      [Bookseller: David Brass Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2017-06-25           Check availability:      Biblio    

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