Early in his career, the German doctor Franz Mesmer (1734-1815) became fascinated by the concept that the invisible natural forces or 'magnetism' exerted by planets, minerals and animals (or humans) could produce physical effects including healing. His influential 'discoveries' were highly controversial, and Mesmer tried persistently but unsuccessfully to obtain scientific recognition for his theory of 'animal magnetism'. This book, published in 1814, was edited by Mesmer's friend J. C. Wolfart, also a medical doctor and a former sceptic. Its scope goes far beyond the mere question of healing individuals. Mesmer proposes a system that he claims would both improve the physical and mental health of individuals and promote the ethical ordering of society. Mesmer appeals to future leaders to develop his blueprint of a more 'natural' and balanced world order, based on his understanding of Enlightenment science and his observations of human physiology, psychology, education, government and justice.
Franz Anton Mesmer
Cambridge Library Collection
Date of Publication
Cambridge Library Collection - Spiritualism and Esoteric Knowledge