Three Spiritualist Novels

Three Spiritualist Novels This volume brings together for the first time three novels that illustrate the distinguished American writer Elizabeth Stuart Phelps s enduring interest in the afterlife The daughter of a Calvinist m

  • Title: Three Spiritualist Novels
  • Author: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
  • ISBN: 9780252025976
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This volume brings together for the first time three novels that illustrate the distinguished American writer Elizabeth Stuart Phelps s enduring interest in the afterlife The daughter of a Calvinist minister, Phelps could not reconcile herself to the idea of a heaven full of spirits who had cut their ties to those left behind on Earth Rather, she became convinced of theThis volume brings together for the first time three novels that illustrate the distinguished American writer Elizabeth Stuart Phelps s enduring interest in the afterlife The daughter of a Calvinist minister, Phelps could not reconcile herself to the idea of a heaven full of spirits who had cut their ties to those left behind on Earth Rather, she became convinced of the viability of the Spiritualist view that a vital link to earthly life continues in the hereafter Articulating an alternative to conservative church doctrine, Phelps assured her readers many of them women bereft of their loved ones by the Civil War that Spiritualist ideas about the afterlife were not fundamentally at odds with Scripture Like the protagonist of The Gates Ajar, these readers wanted to believe something actual, something pleasant about the world to come, not glittering generalities about a dreadful Heaven where their loved ones were too busy singing and worshiping to have any thought of those left behind Gates 1883 , and The Gates Between 1887 , describe heaven as a perfected version of earthly life and the afterlife as a chance to make up for opportunities squandered on Earth A grieving sister finds consolation in the Spiritualist idea of a continued connection with her beloved brother a dying woman finds her soulmate in the afterlife an erring husband makes amends across the line between the living and the dead Tremendously popular in Phelps s lifetime, these novels offer a way of reconciling human beings to earthly loss and sorrow, assuring readers of an afterlife both restorative and compensatory They also provide an intriguing look at a phenomenon that preoccupied nineteenth century America and continues to fascinate us in the twenty first century.

    One thought on “Three Spiritualist Novels”

    1. I was only forced to read the first book in this trilogy ("The Gates Ajar") and let me just tell you that I will not be going back to finish out the trilogy. The entire novel was a thinly veiled attempt to mask Phelps shoving her spiritualism ideas down the throats of her audience. The only positive thing about this book is that it was a proto-feminist novel, but even that was unintentional and couldn't redeem this book's horrible plot, characters, and structure.

    2. This is a spiritualist novel, which presented heaven as a domestic place. Phelps intended her book for a largely female audience, bereft by the Civil War, and claimed her book was divinely inspired. (Note: Thus far, I have only read the first tile "Gates Ajar").

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *