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The Place of Enchantment
Author: Alex Owen

ISBN: 9780226642017
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 17 March 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.6 x 3.8
Description:
By the end of the nineteenth century, Victorians were seeking rational explanations for the world in which they lived. The radical ideas of Charles Darwin had shaken traditional religious beliefs. Sigmund Freud was developing his innovative models of the conscious and unconscious mind. And anthropologist James George Frazer was subjecting magic, myth, and ritual to systematic inquiry. Why, then, in this quintessentially modern moment, did late-Victorian and Edwardian men and women become absorbed by metaphysical quests, heterodox spiritual encounters, and occult experimentation?
In answering this question for the first time, "The Place of Enchantment" breaks new ground in its consideration of the role of occultism in British culture prior to World War I. Rescuing occultism from its status as an "irrational indulgence" and situating it at the center of British intellectual life, Owen argues that an involvement with the occult was a leitmotif of the intellectual avant-garde. Carefully placing a serious engagement with esotericism squarely alongside revolutionary understandings of rationality and consciousness, Owen demonstrates how a newly psychol...

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