ABOUT THIS BOOK
Malcolm Peet’s Medicine, Mysticism and Mythology: Garth Wilkinson, Swedenborg and Nineteenth-Century Esoteric Culture explores the life and cultural milieu of the nineteenth-century Swedenborgian James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-99), whose largely forgotten influence touched a diverse range of intellectual fields and social reform movements. In the early chapters, Peet offers a brief biographical sketch of Wilkinson and a concise history of Swedenborg’s reception in England, touching on the involvement of such figures as John Clowes, Robert Hindmarsh, Manoah Sibly, Ebenezer Sibly, and Charles Augustus Tulk.
Subsequent chapters go on to explore Wilkinson’s early role in publishing the poetry of William Blake; his dealings with Thomas Carlyle and Ralph Waldo Emerson; his lifelong friendship with Henry James, Sr; his association with Daniel Dunglas Home, Thomas Lake Harris, and Andrew Jackson Davis; his homeopathic practice and its influence on James Tyler Kent; and his engagement with such causes as utopian socialism, environmentalism, women’s suffrage, antivivisectionism, and the deregulation of medicine. The book concludes with a broader study of Wilkinson’s interest in mythology, psychology, and Christian spiritualism.