• Medicine, Mysticism, and Mythology

    Garth Wilkinson, Swedenborg and Nineteenth-Century Esoteric Culture

    By Malcolm Peet
    With a foreword by Robert Rix

    Swedenborgian and homeopathic practitioner James John Garth Wilkinson (1812-1899) had contacts among some fascinating and influential figures in spirituality and the arts: William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Tyler Kent, and Andrew Jackson Davis, to name a few. Medicine, Mysticism and Mythology: Garth Wilkinson, Swedenborg and Nineteenth-Century Esoteric Culture highlights Wilkinson’s forgotten influence on homeopathy and the arts as well as his involvement with history-making social movements such as utopianism, women’s sufferage, environmentalism, and more. A must-have for people who want to better understand Emanuel Swedenborg’s far-reaching influence in the nineteenth century. Read more

    Hardcover, 464 pages


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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 (1812-1899), 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.

About the Author

Malcolm Peet is a retired consultant psychiatrist and was honorary professor in the School of Health and Related Research at the University of Sheffield until 2017. Internationally recognized for his research on the relationship between nutrition and mental well-being, Malcolm also holds a master’s degree in Western Esotericism. Since his retirement from clinical practice, Malcolm’s intellectual focus has been on spirituality, particularly that of Emanuel Swedenborg and his followers.

Established in 1810, the main aim of the Swedenborg Society is to translate and publish the works of Emanuel Swedenborg. The Society was incorporated in 1925 and has since become a registered educational charity. Housed in a historic building in central London, they sell not only their own books but Swedenborg-related titles from other publishers, as well as offering a reference and lending library.

The Swedenborg Foundation offers a selection of the Swedenborg Society’s most popular titles, including the Journal of the Swedenborg Society, each volume of which consists of a collection of articles about Swedenborg’s influence from some of the leading international scholars.

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