Researchers

Edmund Gurney

Edmund Gurney 

1847-1888


          DISTINGUISHED BRITISH psychical researcher whose work was one of the mainstays of the SPR. He was a classical scholar, a musician and a student of medicine, but he did not definitely adopt any profession. 

Between 1874 and 1878 he attended a great number of spiritualistic "sťances". He never made known to the world what he learned. When, in 1882, the SPR was founded he undertook the post of honorary secretary. 

It was the discovery of thought-transference which aroused his enduring interest in psychical research. According to Myers' appreciation: "He was the first Englishman who studied with any kind of adequate skill the psychological side of hypnotism in England." His treatise on the telepathic induction of hallucination in Phantasms of the Living, 1886, was the first serious scientific attack on the problem. His investigations were done in consultation with Myers and Podmore. The actual writing of Phantasms of the Living was done by Gurney and during the three years of the sifting of the evidence and hearing of witnesses he performed an immense amount of work. He was also editor of the SPR Proceedings to which he contributed many important papers.

 

 

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