by Frank Podmore
Frank Podmore was born on February 5, 1856 and died by drowning on August 14, 1910. During his life, he focused on two major projects. One was advancing socialism in Britain, and to support his belief in incremental changes to bring about socialism, rather than a revolution, he founded the Fabian Society in 1884. The other project Podmore was passionate about was the paranormal. He wrote a great deal to debunk or otherwise offer scientific explanations to paranormal activity. In this work, which was well received by the The British Journal of Psychiatry, then referred to as the Journal of Mental Science, Podmore investigates claims of mesmerism, and argues that it may have some impact on treating gout, among other things. Podmore also gives a bit of background on leading figures practicing other forms of faith healing, such as Kenelm Digby and Paracelsus.
by Adeline Adams
John Quincy Adams Ward (June 29, 1830 – May 1, 1910) was a sculptor. He was born in Ohio to a family of means. He enjoyed playing on their 600 acre estate, and in his early childhood enjoyed making sculptures out of malleable sediment from a nearby creek. He began studying with a local family friend and potter in his adolescence, but then became discouraged after seeing talented artists at a sculpture show. He studied medicine until he became quite ill. Afterwards, he decided to return to sculpture. He was most well-known for creating busts of famous male figures, most notably his work of George Washington which still stands in New York City. In addition to sculpting, Ward served as the President of the National Academy of Design for a number of years. He also founded, and then became President of the National Sculpture Society. He served on numerous boards and committees which sought to advance art, including being one of the original members of the Board of Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Adeline Adams (1859–1948) was predominantly a writer who focused on artist biographies, but she also wrote poetry. She was born in Boston, well educated and had a lifelong appreciation for the arts. She was also involved in the women’s suffrage movement.
by Orville Dewey
Orville Dewey was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts on March 28, 1794. He spent his time in school and also working on his family’s farm. His household was strongly Calvinist, due to his mother. Both intelligent and studious, Dewey excelled in school, graduating from Williams College, and then later attended Andover Theological Seminary. He went on to become a Unitarian pastor, working within the community of New Bedford for over a decade.Dewey spent much of his later life between Europe and the United States. As he was in ill health, he sought cure and relaxation in Europe. When he returned to the United States, he would come in and out of retirement, either serving various religious posts, or working on his farm. He spent is time out of retirement in New England, New York, and also two years in Washington. He passed away on March 21, 1882. His papers are held in the Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School.
William Lloyd Garrison was born on December 10, 1805. Despite the title of this work, he was certainly not the founder of the Anti-Slavery Movement in America, which had long preceded him. However, he made many notable contributions to the fight for the end of the barbarous practice. He founded the American Anti-Slavery Society, initially the New England Anti-Slavery Society, and was the editor of The Liberator. He also supported women’s suffrage, which actually split the abolitionist movement to split into various factions. Garrison never joined politics however, considering it against his morals. In 1879, Garrison passed away from kidney disease after a long and meaningful life.This work was written by Garrion’s friend, Oliver Johnson. There is much focus on Garrion’s role in the abolitionist movement, with limited and static portrayals of his family. Garrison felt he was central to the abolitionist movement, which is reflected in this biography. Fellow friend, John G. Whittier also wrote a glowing introduction to this book, which was released the year that Garrison died.
John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on December 17, 1807. His family farmed, although he was able to have access to some schooling, roughly 12 weeks annually. Whittier was motivated to learn, and became self-educated, so much so that he moved from farming to becoming an editor. Unfortunately, he was of poor health, and the occupational change suited his health needs as well. He worked for a variety of publications, including Haverhill Gazette, the New England Weekly Review, American Manufacturer in Boston, and the Pennsylvania Freeman. He gained a solid reputation through his work as an editor, and then became a politician. In 1833, William Lloyd Garrison contacted Whittier for assistance with the abolitionist movement. Whittier was dedicated to the cause, and advocated tirelessly against slavery. After the close of the Civil War, he gained fame for his narrative poem, Snowbound, which reflected both Whittier’s personal mourning the loss of his family within the turmoil of the United States during the Civil War. Whittier wrote a great deal of poetry in particular, but other content regarding the horrors and incredible injustice of slavery. This work highlighting the life and experiences of William Lloyd Garrison is an excellent example. Whittier’s life is well preserved in The Whittier Home Museum, which is a National Historic Landmark located in Amesbury, MA.
by L. W. de Laurence
Perhaps appropriately, L. W. de Laurence was born on Halloween in 1868 in Cleveland, Ohio. He went on to develop the major occult publishing firm, De Laurence, Scott & Co. operating out of Chicago. In addition to selling books related to occultism, they also sold related goods. The company had its largest number of consumers in the US South and Jamaica. In addition to being a purveyor of goods, de Laurence was also a writer. Unfortunately, he also was a plagiarist, lifting the work, Pictorial Key to the Tarot, written by Arthur Edward Waite, and claiming it as his own.In 1930, de Laurence was consecrated a bishop. This helped his ideas gain more traction and acceptance. In 1936 he passed away, although his company still operates, now as the de Laurence Company, out of Michigan City, Indiana. Ironically, they purport to have to fight off imposters of de Laurence products.Hypnotism, and Magnetism, Mesmerism, Suggestive Therapeutics and Magnetic Healing is a reprinted edition that has been manually cleaned of most blemishes.
by Edward Henry Palmer
Edward Henry Palmer put together this work that was based on a Persian manuscript, Maksad i Aksá by Azíz bin Mohammed Nafasí. The work sheds some light on Sufis, a Islamic mysticism, which is often characterized as offering the internalization and intensification of Islamic faith.As a child, Palmer enjoyed the benefit of a private teacher, although he was sadly orphaned at a young age. He began a job as a clerk, but his love was always for learning languages and different cultures. He learned Romani culture and language, and then went on to learn French and Italian. Influenced by Sayyid Abdallah, a professor at Cambridge, and a new lease on life, having successfully recovered from tuberculosis, Palmer went on to study at St. John’s College in 1863. Later, he worked on Persian, Turkish, and Arabic manuscripts held by the university. Afterwards, he was asked to join a survey of the Middle East, including Sinai. He returned, wrote about the experience, married, sadly became widowed, became a professor, left and became writing for the Standard. In 1882, an opportunity came up to join an Egyptian expedition. Unfortunately, Palmer and his group were ambushed and murdered.
by Thomas Longueville
Thomas Longueville wrote numerous works about the history of royalty. During his research, he came across many salacious or otherwise interesting tidbits from the Reports of the Historical Commission he often foundhimself wading in. This work is a collection of phrases, notes, diaries and other pieces of information Longueville collected. The items are arranged in numerous collections, ranging from Horse-Dealing and Cock-Fighting to Funerals, Clerical, and Ireland.Thomas Longueville (1844-1922) was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, England. He wrote numerous works, especially biographies, but also wrote other non-fiction books. Some of his works include Marshall Turenne, The Life of a Conspirator: Being a Biography of Sir Everard Digby by One of His Descendants, Policy and Paint: or, Some Incidents in the Lives of Dudley Carleton and Peter Paul Rubens, The Curious Case of Lady Purbeck: A Scandal of the XVIIth Century.
This new edition is dedicated to Oscar Margatts as he climbs the mountain of scholarship.