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    The occult laboratory: magic, science and second sight in late 17th-century Scotland

    Hunter, Michael, ed. (2001) The occult laboratory: magic, science and second sight in late 17th-century Scotland. Martlesham, Suffolk, UK: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 9780851158013.

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    Book synopsis: The uncanny ability of certain individuals to foresee future events had long been regarded as a characteristic of the Scottish Highlands, but in the late seventeenth century interest in the phenomenon came to a head, stimulated by English scientific and philosophical curiosity about magic, particularly second sight.The natural philosopher Robert Boyle and other English savants investigated these Highland beliefs; they found the region a kind of laboratory, strange yet accessible, where data about unusual beliefs could be collected and theories tested. Scottish authors were also stimulated to write accounts of second sight, notably John Fraser, Dean of the Isles, and the Highland minister, Robert Kirk (1644-92), in his famous work, The Secret Commonwealth. These and other texts are included in this book, making available crucial information about belief systems which might otherwise never have been recorded, and illuminating changing contemporary attitudes towards the relationship between the natural and the supernatural.


    Item Type: Book
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 22 May 2017 13:24
    Last Modified: 22 May 2017 13:24


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