Well, first of all, here’s a tip of the old Edwardian tophat to you!
We’re so glad you’ve reached out to express interest in our new book, Through A Glass, Darkly – a peek into a strange period in American history, in the 1920s and earlier, when millions of people came to believe they could make contact with the dear departed.
Spiritualism was a kind of do-it-yourself religion, usually conducted not in churches but around séance tables or through a “trance medium” (usually a woman) in the front parlors in private homes. Since these entranced women were speaking in public – still a taboo in those days – spiritualism became closely linked to the suffragette movement, an early version of feminism. (Women could speak in public, but only if they were in trance!)
My old pal Larry Stains and I had great fun writing this book, and hope that you find reading it as much of a lark. Besides the profound metaphysical questions it raises, it’s filled with fabulous characters, real and imagined, from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Houdini, William James, the Fox sisters, and of course Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who became the world’s foremost spokesperson for spiritualism – a “true believer” if ever there was one.
What is a modern reader to make of all this? Who or what was “Walter,” allegedly a discarnate spirit who bounced around the séance room, jeering and mocking the doubters? And what about “Margery,” either one of the most gifted trance mediums of the era, or one of its most cunning frauds? Was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this brilliant and accomplished man, simply being taken for a ride by spiritualist shysters? Or were these serious-minded investigators actually pulling back the veil on the greatest mystery of all?
What do you make of it all?
We’d love to hear from you, either in a response on this site, or better yet, in the form of a review on Amazon.
Tell us what you think.
And, meanwhile – welcome!