They were struggling to have some say and position of their own in society as well as to have some power. Throughout society, women had no place of authority.
However, they were more likely to attend church and were the main initiators in families who attended church regularly. Despite all this, they did not have any real position of prominence in church. They were joined by their third sister in no time. Soon the word spread and a new religion emerged, spiritualism which was a mixture of liberal nonconformist values along with fireside chats with dead people.
The Trial of Woman
Even after the confession of Fox sisters in that they had faked everything, the movement could not be crushed. The interest in spiritualism spread soon in Britain and it was in that Mrs. Maria Hayden arrived in the UK as the first working spiritualist medium.
Although Maria Hayden attracted a lot of criticism and antipathy, she carried on with her spiritual works by holding seances and demonstrating mediumship. In addition to this, the first Spiritualist Lyceum was founded in Nottingham in by Mr. J Hitchcock with an intention of making spiritualism as a part of religious education and while studying philosophy.
The main reason behind Victorian British getting attracted towards spiritualism is that during the midth century they were going through industrial revolution due to which many people were leaving their land and heading towards towns to work in factories, mines, and shipyards. It was the time when great social reformers and philanthropists rose and this is when spiritualism appealed to the people because it gave importance to a personal experience to spirits and the unswerving knowledge of the afterlife.
It showed that there is survival after the physical death of the body. This is the reason why even if the Victorian era is known for scientific and technological progress, many Victorians were inclined to the paranormal, supernatural and occult. The most popular forms in the Victorian era are mesmerism, electro-biology, clairvoyance, thought reading, crystal gazing and above all, spiritualism.
Victorian spiritualism is also known as a spiritualist movement which attracted people from different social classes. Even Queen Victoria and Prince Albert participated in spiritualist seances. In the s, it became a part of Victorian subculture through different mediums, pamphlets, specialist newspapers, societies, treaties, public and private seances.
Anne Horniman, who had a great influence on British theatre, was a great believer in tarot and used the cards to guide her business decisions. She even claimed to stop by Saturn to visit and chat with locals. It is not known whether she with her partner truly believed their journeys were real. It is said that their writings were more about the exploration of light and sense rather than on a physical journey.
Introduction: Women and the Victorian occult : Sussex Research Online
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Spirituality in the Victorian Era Essay
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