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The Zoist: A journal of cerebral physiology & mesmerism. 13 vols. (1 vol. rebound)
London, 1843-56.

[Elliotson, John (1791-1868).] The Zoist: A journal of cerebral physiology & mesmerism, and their applications to human welfare. Vols. I (1843/44) РXIII (1855/56) [all published]. London: Hippolyte Bailli̬re, 1844-56. 209 x 135 mm. 13 volumes, bound in 19th century half calf, marbled boards (except for Vol. VIII in 20th century quarter calf, marbled boards), some wear and chipping, a few hinges tender, hinges in Vol. XIII repaired with glue. Very good set.

First Edition of “the most important source about British mesmerism of the period” (Gault, p. 206), and an invaluable reference for contemporary ideas and developments not only in mesmerism (hypnosis) but also in phrenology, neurology and psychiatry. The journal was founded and edited by Dr. John Elliotson, Britain’s leading advocate of mesmerism, who in 1843 had performed the first surgical operation on a patient anesthetized via hypnosis. “It was round The Zoist, and hence of course round Elliotson, that British mesmerism centered during its period of most active expansion, from 1843 until the early 1850s. Popular practitioners looked up to it, even though they perhaps resented its lofty tone. More serious and more educated adherents subscribed, contributed and sent in cases; interested outsiders turned to it to find out more. . . . Setting aside articles on phrenology, mesmeric cures of disease fill the greatest percentage of its pages, followed by cases of surgical operations performed with mesmeric anesthesia” (Gault, pp. 207-208). One of the most prolific contributors to the journal was Scottish surgeon James Esdaile, who performed over a hundred painless operations on mesmerized patients in the 1840s while stationed in India; a partial list of these operations, including the amputation of an arm and breast and the removal of 17 scrotal tumors, is included in the 1846 volume of The Zoist. Crabtree, Animal Magnetism, Early Hypnotism, and Psychical Research 1766-1925, no. 490. Gault, A History of Hypnotism, pp. 205-208.


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Last Found On: 2014-08-08           Check availability:      Biblio    

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