Arthur Balfour’s Ghosts


Arthur Balfour’s Ghosts – An Edwardian Elite and the Riddle of the Cross-Correspondence Automatic Writings By Trevor Hamilton

Imprint Academic – £14.95

As noted in this book’s Introduction: ”Why Arthur Balfour’s ghosts and why link his name with the cross-correspondence automatic writings? He is known in the twenty-first century, if at all, as an aristocratic politician of a century ago, and some people may well link him with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 which promised a home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Yet, during his long political career, the intimate involvement of his family in the interpretation and construction of the cross-correspondences has not yet been fully explored […].”

Until now that is.

Indeed, these nineteen chapters traverse a psychical playing field that could well be described as standing relatively alone. Or, in the words of Tom Ruffles, Communications Officer with The Society for Psychical Research (SPR):”Arthur Balfour’s Ghosts will be essential reading for anyone wishing to study this most intriguing aspect of psychical research.”

In two Parts (The Development of the Cross-Correspondences from 1901-1936 and Assessing the Cross-Correspondence Automatic Writings), Arthur Balfour’s Ghosts – An Edwardian Elite and the Riddle of the Cross-Correspondence Automatic Writings makes for surprisingly open and communicative reading.

Given the potential complexity of the actual subject matter itself, it does need to be said that these 279 pages (excluding Preface and Acknowledgements, Appendix, Select Bibliography and References and Index) inadvertently allure the reader into wanting to read more. This might admittedly be because the book’s prime focus is Arthur Balfour – arguably one of the leading Conservative politicians of the early 20th century – and the fact that he was driven to try and communicate with the afterlife. This being the case, due to the death of the love of his life; which, given the fact that Balfour, was in his day, considered something of a rather cold, wet-fish, does lend the book a certain attractive romanticism.

With this invariably in mind, Arthur Balfour’s Ghosts’ further asks if there is any serious evidence of there actually being life after death?

Written by Trevor Hamilton – one of the world’s leading experts on the cross-correspondences that are generally considered the most ”puzzling and for some convincing evidence for life after death” – it does need to be emphasised that this book is thoroughly evaluated from a prime promise and premise of scientific manner.

Whether or not said manner truly makes sense, and in so doing, makes (perfect) sense, is of course, wide open to serried deliberation.

David Marx

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