The Occult Laboratory
Title Details

255 Pages

0 x 0 cm

2 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Occult Laboratory

Magic, Science and Second Sight in Late Seventeenth-Century Scotland. A new edition

by Michael Hunter

  • Description
Magic, science and second sight in 17c Scottish Higlands, with new edition of Kirk's Secret Commonwealth.
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 byEnglish 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. Contents: TEXTS An Interview with Lord Tarbat, 3 Oct 1678(Robert Boyle) A Collection of Highland Rites and Customes The Secret Commonwealth (Robert Kirk) Letter to Joh Aubrey on Second Sight Letter to Samuel Pepys on Second Sight Second Sight (John Fraser) Questionnnaires and Responses (Edward Lhuyd and Robert Wodrow, John Fraser and John Maclean) Introductory material (33pp) by Michael Hunter MICHAEL HUNTER is Professor of History, Birkbeck College, University of London.

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9781846150104

March 2001

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9780851158013

March 2001

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£70.00 / $120.00

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9781417576067

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Title Details

255 Pages

0 x 0 cm

2 b/w illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press