The Brothers Moses
Spiritualism, Imposture, Periodicals, Scientific Practitioners, Methodology, Controversy
Discusses two items in the Morning Post, the first being an advertisement for 'farewell Séances' for William H H Davenport and Ira E Davenport, the second being a letter from William Howitt castigating 'the Press' for its hostility and apparently blinkered attitude towards the Davenport brothers, and observing the continuing spread of spiritualism. Punch reminds Howitt that his friends, the Davenports, 'refuse to do what you say they should do' and give 'opponents of Spiritualism' enough rope to bind them. Punch laments the fact that the Davenports' 'showman', Mr Palmer, abuses the 'man of science' who tries to make 'decisive tests', and ridicules Howitt's comparison of the Davenports to ancient prophets. Proceeds to attack Howitt, accusing him of having 'many bright faculties' but lacking that of 'the discernment of quacks'. Presenting an additional extract from the advertisement of the Davenports' séances, Punch explains that 'Public writers are only vexed to see an eminent brother-chip [Howitt] incapable of seeing through the transparent gammon of a regular and common puff'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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