Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract

This book explores the phenomenon of second sight in nineteenth-century literature and culture. Second sight is a form of prophetic vision associated with the folklore of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Described in Gaelic as the An-da-shealladh or ‘the two sights’, those in possession of this extraordinary power are said to foresee future events like the death of neighbour, the arrival of strangers into the community, the success or failure of a fishing trip. From the late seventeenth century onwards, rumours of this strange faculty attracted the attention of numerous scientists, travel writers, antiquarians, poets and artists. Focusing on the nineteenth century, this book examines second sight in relation to mesmerism and phrenology, modern spiritualism and anthropology, romance literature and folklorism and finally, psychical research and Celtic mysticism. Tracing the migration of a supposedly ‘Scottish’ tradition through various sites of nineteenth-century popular culture, it explores questions of nationhood and identity alongside those posed by supernatural phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages260
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2017

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
PublisherPalgrave

Fingerprint

Prophecy
Nationhood
Stranger
Poet
Popular Culture
Spiritualism
Phrenology
Romance
Century Book
Supernatural
Trip
Scottish Highlands
Fishing
Anthropology
Folklore
Mesmerism
Rumor
Psychical Research
Nineteenth-century Literature
Neighbors

Keywords

  • second sight
  • prophetic vision
  • Scottish culture
  • supernatural phenomena

Cite this

Richardson, E. (2017). Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood. (Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine). London.
Richardson, Elsa. / Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century : Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood. London, 2017. 260 p. (Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine).
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Richardson, E 2017, Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood. Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine, London.

Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century : Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood. / Richardson, Elsa.

London, 2017. 260 p. (Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine).

Research output: Book/ReportBook

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Richardson E. Second Sight in the Nineteenth Century: Prophecy, Imagination and Nationhood. London, 2017. 260 p. (Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine).