London: Burns Oates, 1952. First edition. Octavo, original navy cloth, navy top edge, original dust jacket. Embossed academic blindstamp, slight tanning to blank flyleaves, minor edge-wear, gentle toning to spine of excellent dust jacket. A bright, fresh copy. Item #572
"THE LUMINOUS PHENOMENA OF MYSTICISM" First edition of the English Jesuit's studies of the manifestations of the supernatural, the collected fruits of a lifetime of research by the noted authority on Spiritualism and the Occult. "When Father Thurston died in 1939 the English Jesuits lost one of the most distinguished members of the Society and Roman Catholics in England their greatest expert in psychical research." So begins Eric Dingwall's review of The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism in the November, 1952 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. Dingwall declared this collection to be "the most brilliant and fascinated account of the phenomena of the Saints." Many mystical saints—ranging from Alphonsus Liguori, Catherine of Siena, Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, Philip Neri, and Teresa of Avila to Anne Catherine Emmerich, Gemma Galgani, Beatrice of Granada, Teresa Neumann, Teresa Higginson, Mollie Fancher, and Daniel Home—all appear in these pages.
Herbert Thurston entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1890. Perhaps best-known for his critical editorial efforts to modernize Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints, Father Thurston was also a prolific contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia and many other periodicals during the 1920s and 30s. Fascinated by the supernatural from a young age, Thurston grew up with a lifelong interest in spiritualism. Dingwall describes Father Thurston as a regular (as early as 1880) in the British Museum Reading Room, evidence of his devotion to research, noting the Jesuit's "wide acquaintance with the different sources" and credits his ability to weigh the "degree of credence to be placed upon them with considerable acumen." Edited, with a brief Preface, by Father Thurston's biographer, J.H. Crehan, S.J., dated "Heythrop, 31st July, 1951." Father Crehan's biography also appeared in 1952 and a companion volume, Ghosts and Poltergeists, was published in 1953. Approbations.