Examines the Spiritualist movement's role in disseminating eugenic and hard hereditarian thoughtStudying transatlantic spiritualist literature from the mid-19th to the early 20th century, Christine Ferguson focuses on its incorporation and dissemination of bio-determinist and eugenic thought. She asks why ideas about rational reproduction, hereditary determinism and race improvement became so important to spiritualist novelists, journalists and biographers in this period. She also examines how these concerns drove emerging Spiritualist understandings of disability, intelligence, crime, conception, the afterlife and aesthetic production. The book draws on rare material, including articles and serialized fiction from Spiritualist periodicals such as Light, The Two Worlds and The Medium and Daybreak as well as on Spiritualist healing, parentage and sex manuals.
Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848-1930
Edinburgh University Press
Eugenics, Heredity and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848-1930