Culture and the Occult at the Fin de Siècle

in The Place of Enchantment

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780226642017
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226642031 | DOI:
Culture and the Occult at the Fin de Siècle

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The “mystical revival” that observers and participants alike associated with the fin de siècle did not emerge in a vacuum. Earlier manifestations of heterodox spirituality had made their mark during the first half of the century, and the Victorians had long been fascinated by a wide range of phenomena that might loosely be termed occult. Spiritualism was a vitally important component of what has subsequently come to be called the nineteenth-century occult revival, a broad pan-European and American movement loosely dedicated to a variety of unorthodox spiritual beliefs that can loosely be termed occult. Nineteenth-century French occultism and its association with the “high magic” of Eliphas Lévi and esoteric Masonry of Martinism played an important part in the propagation of European occultism at the turn of the century.

Keywords: mystical revival; Victorians; occult revival; high magic; European occultism

Chapter.  15050 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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