Saturday, January 12, 2013

Perspectives in Psychical Research Series.

27 Hardcover Books published by Arno Press 1975, various pagination (see below) some of the volumes have some black and white photographs or illustrations (or both). The list below has the title, the author, the date the book was originally published (these are all reprints) and number of pages.

- A Thought-Reader’s Thoughts by Stuart Cumberland (1888, 326 pages).

- Clairvoyance & Thoughtography by T. Fukurai (1931, 247 pages).

- Theory and Experiment in Psychical Research by William G. Roll (1975(?), 510 pages).

- Zoar: Or The Evidence of Psychical Research Concerning Survival by W.H. Salter (1961, 238 pages).

- Beware Familiar Spirits by John Mulholland (1938, 342 pages).

- Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions by Samuel Hibbert (1824, 459 pages).

- Revelations of a Spirit Medium by Harry Price and Eric Dingwall (1922, 327 pages).

- Science and Psychical Phenomena by G.N.M. Tyrrell (1938, 379 pages).

- Clairvoyance and Materialism by Gustave Geley (1927, 401 pages).

- Phenomena of Materialisation: A Contribution to the investigation of Mediumistic Teleplastics by Baron Von Schrenck Notzing (1920, 340 pages).

- Miracles and Modern Spiritualism by Alfred Russel Wallace (1896, 292 pages).

- Somnolism and Psycheism: Or, the Science of the Soul and the Phenomena of Nervation as Revealed by Vital Magnetism or Mesmerism, considered Physiologically and Philosophically by Joseph W. Haddock (1851, 240 pages).

- New Dimensions of Deep Analysis by Jan Ehrenwald (1955?, 316 pages). 

- The Newer Spiritualism by Frank Podmore (1910, 320 pages).

- Experimental Telepathy by Rene Warcollier (1938, 296 pages). 

- Experiments in Psychical Research at Leland Stanford Junior University by John Edgar Coover (1917, 642 pages). 

- Extrasensory Perception, edited by Fabian Gudas (1961, 141 pages).

- Psychical Research: The Science of the Super-Normal by Hans Driesch (1933, 176 pages).

- Natural and Mesmeric Clairvoyance: With the Practical Application of Mesmerism in Surgery and Medicine by James Esdaile (1852, 272 pages).

- Report of the Experiments on Animal Magnetism, made by a Committee of the Medical Section of the French Royal Academy of Sciences: Read at the Meetings of the 21st and 28th of June, 1831. With an Historical and Explanatory Introduction, and an Appendix by J.C. Colquhoun (1833, 252 pages).

- Beyond Normal Cognition: An Evaluative and Methodological Study of the Mental Content of Certain Trance Phenomena by John F. Thomas (1937, 319 pages). 

- Laboratory Investigations Into Psychic Phenomena by Hereward Carrington (1939, 255 pages).

- Fifty Years of Psychical Research: A Critical Survey by Harry Price (1939, 383 pages).

- The Enchanted Boundary by Walter Franklin Prince (1930, 344 pages).

- The Case for and Against Psychical Belief, edited by Carl Murchison (1927, 365 pages).

- Evidence of Personal Survival: From Cross Correspondences by H.F. Saltmarsh (1938, 159 pages).

- Studies in Psychical Research by Frank Podmore (1897, 458 pages).

27 volumes… it was a box full.  Actually, it was 30 volumes.  One volume was in there twice and another was in there three times.  I was a little surprised when I found the repeated volumes and can only guess that the original buyer was a little too keen to get the complete series and therefore mistakenly doubled up on a few volumes.  Unfortunately they were still a few volumes short of the complete set, as there were 34 volumes in the series.

The books all deal with the subject of Psychical Research in its various forms.  Yes, I also had to figure out exactly what this meant.  It’s parapsychology: “The study of the evidence for psychological phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis, that are inexplicable by science.”

To be honest, my attention starts to glaze over and then considerably begins to wander (and wonder) as soon as I try to get my head around the concept of what this is all about.  Once again this is about me and less about the books and their contents.  There are though, many people out there who are passionate and interested in parapsychology and the best evidence of this is the interwebs.  If you go to google and type in parapsychology you get nearly 3 million hits, Huc & Gabet only gets 28 thousand hits.  Sadly, Huc & Gabet (both the bookseller and the original Huc & Gabet) is a long way behind parapsychology.

The books are mostly reprints of earlier works and the volumes I have were originally published between 1824 and 1975.  There’s everything here from telepathy to clairvoyance, spiritualism to mesmerism etc etc.  I have 27 volumes, so i would hope that they cover a broad spectrum of the subject at hand.  I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of what each book is about as this means that i would then have to get an understanding of the 27 volumes.  Life is too short... and if your really interested i have done brief descriptions in the Books & Collectibles listings of the individual volumes Here are a few exciting scans from Phenomena of Materialisation: A Contribution to the investigation of Mediumistic Teleplastics by Baron Von Schrenck Notzing (... and no, these are not pictures of people with pasta):

Ectoplasm at it’s best.  

This is obviously serious stuff and not for the casual Ouija Board user.

Arno Press specialized in publishing reprints for library collections during the 1970s, which I guess explains this particular series.  No doubt, most of (if not all) of these titles were long out of copyright at the time and Arno sensing a market for these books, grabbed the opportunity to make a few $$$.  I can’t imagine these books were cheap when they were published and from what I can gather these particular volumes were originally purchased through the Theosophical Society Bookshop in Melbourne, Australia.*  If you wanted to buy the books now, they are mostly available as Print on Demand, in other words, generic paperbacks or varying print quality as apposed to the lovely hardcover reprints, lovingly published by Arno Press in 1975 (… and now available from Huc & Gabet).

Condition wise, the books are mostly in very good condition.  The lettering on all the covers has slightly faded or dulled and there is minimal wear to the books themselves.  At a guess I’d say the original buyer either didn’t read the books or read them very carefully, once only.  

I mentioned finding this set to a fellow bookseller who commented in the negative regarding the clogging up of shelves with these “type” of books. There is something about them that makes me think that there is a market for them.  Let’s just hope that someone becomes mesmerized enough into buying them.  

 *Some of the books have the booksellers ink stamp on the front endpaper.

1 comment:

  1. Paul Perry, AllSorts Books Northcote Vic AustraliaJanuary 17, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    As a bookseller myself, I certainly wouldn't mind my shop being "clogged" by this kind of book.. they are by no means the slowest. I think these books have a better than average chance of finding a good home.
    Even if one is sceptical of table-turning etc, they provide interesting insights to the social life of the day.