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Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood
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Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood (Hardback)

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Synopsis

This book explores the phenomenon of second sight in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Second sight is a form of prophetic vision associated with the folklore of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Described in Gaelic as the An-da-shealladh or `the two sights', those in possession of this extraordinary power are said to foresee future events like the death of neighbour, the arrival of strangers into the community, the success or failure of a fishing trip. From the late seventeenth century onwards, rumours of this strange faculty attracted the attention of numerous scientists, travel writers, antiquarians, poets and artists. Focusing on the nineteenth century, this book examines second sight in relation to mesmerism and phrenology, modern spiritualism and anthropology, romance literature and folklorism and finally, psychical research and Celtic mysticism. Tracing the migration of a supposedly `Scottish' tradition through various sites of nineteenth-century popular culture, it explores questions of nationhood and identity alongside those posed by supernatural phenomena.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1800 to c 1900Fiction & Poetry Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Publication Date: 13/06/2017 ISBN-13: 9781137519696  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Elsa Richardson is Lecturer of History at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, where she is affiliated with the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare and the Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies. She researches and publishes on the historical interactions between medicine and the imagination, science and the supernatural, psychology and the occult.

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