Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain

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9780226902234: Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain

Across Victorian Britain, apparently reasonable people twisted into bizarre postures, called out in unknown languages, and placidly bore assaults that should have caused unbearable pain all while they were mesmerized. Alison Winter's fascinating cultural history traces the history of mesmerism in Victorian society. Mesmerized is both a social history of the age and a lively exploration of the contested territory between science and pseudo-science.

"Dazzling. . . . This splendid book . . . gives us a new form of historical understanding and a model for open and imaginative reading."—James R. Kinkaid, Boston Globe

"A landmark in the history of science scholarship."—John Sutherland, The Independent

"It is difficult to imagine the documentary side of the story being better done than by Winter's well-researched and generously illustrated study. . . . She is a lively and keen observer; and her book is a pleasure to read purely for its range of material and wealth of detail. . . . Fruitful and suggestive."—Daniel Karlin, Times Literary Supplement

"An ambitious, sweeping and fascinating historical study. . . . Beautifully written, thoroughly researched, and well-illustrated."—Bernard Lightman, Washington Times

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About the Author:

Alison Winter is associate professor of history at the University of Chicago and the author of Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain and Memory: Fragments of a Modern History.

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Thousands of men and women all across Britain in the Victorian age were being mesmerized, twisted into bizarre postures and speaking out in unknown languages, and the Victorians were literally entranced with this phenomenon. The text focuses on mesmerism: who was entranced, who did the entrancing, why mesmerism was such a compelling experience to so many and how it became equally powerful evidence of fraud and unscientific behaviour to many others. It illuminates dark areas of the relationship between science and society, allowing the assessment of the role of authority in particular social contexts: who draws the line between the bogus and the authentic and how is the boundary maintained? More fundamentally, what is the nature of the powers that wield, and the influences that bind humans together in a social body?. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226902234

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Book Description The University of Chicago Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Thousands of men and women all across Britain in the Victorian age were being mesmerized, twisted into bizarre postures and speaking out in unknown languages, and the Victorians were literally entranced with this phenomenon. The text focuses on mesmerism: who was entranced, who did the entrancing, why mesmerism was such a compelling experience to so many and how it became equally powerful evidence of fraud and unscientific behaviour to many others. It illuminates dark areas of the relationship between science and society, allowing the assessment of the role of authority in particular social contexts: who draws the line between the bogus and the authentic and how is the boundary maintained? More fundamentally, what is the nature of the powers that wield, and the influences that bind humans together in a social body?. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780226902234

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