The Night Side of Nature: Or, Ghosts and Ghost Seers
The novelist and children's author Catherine Crowe (c.1800-1876) published The Night Side of Nature in two volumes in 1848. This lively collection of ghostly sketches and anecdotes was a Victorian best-seller and Crowe's most popular work. Sixteen editions appeared in six years, and it was translated into several European languages. The stories are intertwined with Crowe's own interpretations and commentaries which attack the scepticism of enlightenment thought and orthodox religion. Crowe seeks instead to encourage and re-invigorate a sense of wonder and mystery in life by emphasising the supernatural. The stories in Volume 1 centre on dreams, psychic presentiments, traces, wraiths, doppelgängers, apparitions, and imaginings of the after-life. Crowe's vivid tales, written with great energy and imagination, are classic examples of nineteenth-century spiritualist writing and strongly influenced other authors as well as providing inspiration for later adherents of ghost-seeing and psychic culture.
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