Books: Enigmatic Medium

HEYDAY OF A WIZARD —Jean Burton—Knopf ($2.50).

In the 1850s spiritualism swept the U.S. eastern seaboard like a fog. It seemed, said one flabbergasted convert, "as though the spirit world, having at last hit upon a means of communicating with ours, could not get enough of it." Mediums sprang to fame, set the ether vibrating with spirit music, spirit painting, voices, lights, icy currents of air, luminous faces, words written in fire. "A whole mine of mysticism hatching beneath the skepticism of the 19th Century," said the shrewd French Diarists Edmond and Jules...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!