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Periodical: The Spiritual Herald

Summary: From Pat Deveney's database:

Spiritual Herald, The.
A Record of Spirit Manifestations.
1856--1856 Monthly
London, England, and New York, NY. Publisher: H. Ballière (London and New York). Editor: James Smith, J.J. Garth Wilkinson.
1/1-6, February to July 1856.

The Spiritual Telegraph (May 31, 1856) under the heading "Just Published" announces this as printed in 8vo., with parts 1-3 for sale at 15 cents each in New York and 6 pence in London. Robert A. Gilbert points to this journal, edited by J.J. Garth Wilkinson (1812-1899), an ardent exponent of New Church ideas, as one indication of the conflation of Swedenborg's ideas with spiritualism--an uneasy mix from the Swedenborgian side. Gilbert, "Magus Incognito." The journal was explicitly dependent on the American variety of spiritualism--which it avidly described but then philosophically discussed--but was hopeful that a native British version was in the process of being born. In the first issue, the editors stated: "The object of this periodical is to present the subject of spiritualism to the people of England in facts and arguments, and to supply the deficiency of the popular press, which seems determined to keep the public blind to the greatest mental revolution of modern times. These facts will be supplied from the numerous details of the American papers, and from the wonderful phenomena now of daily occurrence in our own English homes, recorded for the benefit and instruction of those who are candid and intelligent enough to investigate the most remarkable crisis that has occurred since the opening of the Christian era." The optimism was misplaced so far as this journal was concerned and a true British spiritualist press did not arise for another several years. In the final issue the editors flatly said that "the periodical has failed for want of English manifestations or want of English courage. . . . [W]e have proved by experiment the weakness of the cause in England . . . ." Constant attempts to reconcile the official teachings of Christianity with the pronouncements of the spirits, coupled with cautions on spirits as "guides" of spiritual life. The discussion of "What is Spiritualism?" is headed by the notable quotation: "I never said it was possible. I only said it was true." The final issue notably from the New York Christian Spiritualist a version of "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe's spirit, mediated by Thomas Lake Harris! In announcing the cessation of the journal in July, the publisher faced the recurring problem of un-expired subscriptions by offering to apply them to a bound volume of the issues that appeared or to return them altogether. Stanford University; NYPL; LOC; Bryn Athyn College; University of Texas, Austin; National Library of Scotland; University of Manchester; etc.

Issues:Index
Volume 1 Number 1 February 1856
Volume 1 Number 2 March 1856
Volume 1 Number 3 April 1856
Volume 1 Number 4 May 1856
Volume 1 Number 5 June 1856
Volume 1 Number 6 July 1856


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