The Phantom of the Deep
Monstrosities, Supernaturalism, Spiritualism, Natural Law
Reports on the observation of a sea serpent off Saint Helena, which seems to be a favourite location for the monster. Speculates that 'if there is any truth in the theory of the transmigration of the souls', then the sea serpent's soul will haunt the vicinity of Saint Helena. Notes that 'the age of prodigies and portents is fast reviving', with the publication of a work entitled 'Spirit Drawings' (possibly a reference to Wilkinson 1858). Goes on to discuss the frontispiece of a work entitled 'Spirit Manifestations' (possibly a reference to Dods 1854) and again suggests that this signals the revival of more ghostly portents. Returning to the subject of the sea serpent, claims that it is the spirit of Emperor Napoleon I of France, who seeks to deliver a message which no British seaman can understand. Speculates that the reason why the spirit flounders in the Atlantic Ocean instead of coming to the English Channel to speak to his nephew, Emperor Napoleon III, is because 'the laws of spiritualism do not allow that channel of communication'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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