© 2013


Shakespeare and the Occult, 1850–1950

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 1-15
  3. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 17-38
  4. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 39-72
  5. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 73-95
  6. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 97-122
  7. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 123-148
  8. Jeffrey Kahan
    Pages 149-161
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 163-256

About this book


This study concerns itself with a now-forgotten religious group, Spiritualists, and how their ensuing discussions of Shakespeare's meaning, his writing practices, his possible collaborations, and the supposed purity and/or corruption of his texts anticipated, accompanied, or silhouetted similar debates in Shakespeare Studies.


occult poet spelling William Shakespeare writing

About the authors

Jeffrey Kahan is a professor in the department of English at the University of La Verne.

Bibliographic information


"Shakespiritualism introduces a fascinating collection of individuals who imagined they could make contact with the living spirit of Shakespeare. Kahan acknowledges how easy it would be to dismiss their endeavors as silly if not mad, but to do so, he argues, would constitute a missed critical opportunity. For one thing, the very strangeness of the phenomenon helps to define by contrast the interpretive practice with which professional Shakespeareans are familiar. Then too, it's not so strange after all. Kahan points to surprising continuities between Shakespiritualism and our own work, and his darker purpose in this learned and appealing book is to suggest that a critical engagement with Shakespiritualism, while it is bound to remain a queer-looking enterprise, might help to enlarge our own practice beyond the unproductively narrow space within which it is sometimes enclosed." - Edward Pechter, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Concordia University, Canada and author of Shakespeare Studies Today

"Often biographical, Kahan's history is always interesting and entertaining. Including extensive notes and blibliography, this is a resource for Shakespeareans and those interested in the place of the occult in literary history." - CHOICE