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Cover Art
Author Stein, Gordon.

Title The sorcerer of kings : the case of Daniel Dunglas Home and William Crookes / Gordon Stein ; foreword by James Randi.

Published Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, [1993]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  133.91092 STEI    AVAILABLE
Physical description 140 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 129-135) and index.
Contents Foreword / James Randi -- Pt. 1. Florence Cook: The Medium -- Pt. 2. Sir William Crookes: The Scientist -- Pt. 3. Daniel Dunglas Home: The Medium -- Pt. 4. Conclusions.
Summary In 1848 the Fox sisters, living near Rochester, New York, began modern spiritualism by producing a series of "raps" or "knocks", supposedly from the spirit world, through which communication could be maintained. The public's interest was captured, and soon an overwhelming desire to communicate with departed loved ones led to the devising of other methods of communicating with spirits. Spiritualism spread rapidly both in Britain and the United States, with mediums setting up shop everywhere. These mediums ranged from obvious charlatans and highly skilled conjurors to those who sincerely believed they had psychic power. Gradually a number of the more skillful mediums gained reputations that brought them national and even international renown. Among these "superstars" was Daniel Dunglas Home (1833-1886), still recognized as the finest physical medium of the nineteenth century. The Scottish-born Home rose to prominence as a medium in the United States, returning to England in 1855. He spent the rest of his career in England and Europe, conducting seances at the homes of the wealthy and in the chambers of royalty. His feats of bodily levitation and elongation, "spirit hands", fire resistance, "rapping", and the like astounded his audiences. They were convinced of his extraordinary powers to reach "beyond". Scientists of the time remained aloof from the phenomena of spiritualism, unwilling to attend seances or examine the phenomena under controlled conditions. A rare exception was Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), a chemist and physicist who was roundly ridiculed by many of his fellow scientists for his five-year investigation of a number of important spiritualists and mediums, includingDaniel Dunglas Home, Florence Cook, and Anna Eva Fay. Although many were later proven frauds, this was never the case with Daniel Dunglas Home - until now. The Sorcerer of Kings takes readers inside the testing procedures of Crookes, to explore just what his investigation entailed. What made Sir William a believer? How could so many other mediums fall victim to their own gimmicks while Daniel Dunglas Home successfully overcame efforts to expose him? Noted researcher Gordon Stein unwraps this century-old mystery to reach startling new conclusions about a man whose "powers" were eagerly sought on two continents and the man of science who attempted to find him out once and for all. Stein has written a fascinating study of Victorian England and a character study of several notable Victorians that could cause a revision in the social history of that period.
Subject Home, D. D. (Daniel Dunglas), 1833-1886.
Crookes, William, 1832-1919.
Cook, Florence Eliza, 1856?-1904.
Parapsychology -- Investigation -- History -- 19th century.
Mediums -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Spiritualists -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
ISBN 0879758635 (alk. paper) $22.95