Count Cesar Baudi de Vesme

          distinguished Continental author and psychical researcher, born in Turin in 1862 of an Italian father and French mother; induced to the study of psychical phenomena by the narrative of the following incident:

"One night in 1871 cries of despair were heard from M. de M.'s mother. She was found in a state of terror, declaring that she was carried by spirits to the foot of her bed. At seven o'clock the following morning Col. Daviso, a stranger called. He was informed at a spiritistic sťance that the spirits were about to play a trick upon a lady in the house of M. de M. He came to verify the information."

In 1898, after the death of Dr. Ermacora, Cesare Lombroso entrusted Cesar de Vesme with the editorship of the Rivista di Studi Psichici. He arranged for a simultaneous French edition under the title Revue des Etudes Psychiques which he also edited. In 1905 this paper was amalgamated with the Annales des Sciences Psychiques of which Charles Richet and Dr. X. Dariex were the directors, and de Vesme became its editor-in-chief. He made extensive studies with Eusapia Palladino, Stanislava Tomczyk, Eva C. and other famous mediums. He acknowledges mediumistic phenomena and sympathises with the spiritualist hypothesis for which, he admits, many well established facts militate. But his conviction was not without reserve.

In 1930 Cesar de Vesme published an excellent book on predictions in games of chance (Le Merveilleux dans les jeux de hasard) which is extensively quoted by Richet in L'Avenir et la Premonition. His chef-d'oeuvre is A History of Experimental Spiritualism which was laureated by the French Academy of Science of which, however, only the first part has been published. Already in 1894 he published in Italy a Storia Dello Spiritismo which was translated into German in the same year. This he recast into a monumental work. The first volume, Primitive Man, discusses the nature and origin of religious beliefs. The second, Peoples of Antiquity dwells on the experimental elements in the spiritualistic doctrines of early civilisations.

Source (with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).



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