edited with an introduction and notes by Sara Williams
Spanning the years 1870–1881, Evenings at Home in Spiritual Séance (Second Series) documents the everyday, yet astonishing, experiences of spirit activity within the domestic space of the Victorian parlour. Through the intimacy of her diary-like prose, Houghton conjures cosy images of spirits laying the table for tea in what she called the “interblending of the heavenly and the mundane”. She is equally comfortable communicating with her beloved pet dove as she is with the archangel Gabriel, living an unassuming yet spiritually rich life, filled with people of this world and the next.
Houghton narrates her experiences of séances and trance mediumship with close friends, discusses her own automatic spirit drawings, and offers an autobiographical glimpse into her day-to-day business.
This critical edition, edited by Sara Williams, includes:
- Author biography
- Select bibliography
- Explanatory footnotes
- Appendices on ‘Houghton in the Spiritualist press’, ‘Automatic spirit drawings’ and ‘Houghton’s spirit photography’
Sara Williams is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of English, University of Hull, where she completed her PhD ‘The Maternal Gaze in the Gothic’. Her research focuses on Victorian spirit photography and memorial portraiture, epistemologies of hysteria, Christian mysticism and Mariology and the everyday Gothic. She has published on the novel and film versions of The Exorcist and the life and work of H.P. Lovecraft, and her next project considers motifs of cannibalism in Catholic female hagiography.
The wonderful cover image is by Ramona Szczerba