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animal magnetism and mesmerism

In The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret B. Moore notes the interest in animal magnetism and mesmerism that existed in Salem in the 1830s and 1840s, a link to Holgrave's practice of these pseudo-sciences.

Animal magnetism also interested Salemites. Monsieur Charles Poyen, famous practitioner, had lectured on mesmerism in September 1837. Dr. Robert H. Collyer had also spoken on the subject on August 10,1841. Joshua H. Ward wrote Leverett Saltonstall in Washington on August 9, 1841, "We are all wide awake here about Animal Magnetism. We have had a course of lectures and experiments and great numbers have become converts." . . . Both Matthew Maule's hold over Alice Pyncheon in The House of the Seven Gables and the magical doings in The Blithedale Romance had plenty of stimulus in Salem (154). (Courtesy of University of Missouri Press

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