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Ghosts In The Machine: The Apparition Of Mrs. Veal, Rowe's Friendship In Death And The Early Eighteenth-Century Invisible World

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Chapter Summary

A True Relation of the Apparition of One Mrs. Veal was bound and sold in a volume with Charles Drelincourt?s A Christian?s Defense Against the Fears of Death, a book discussed by the apparition and Mrs. Bargrave. In 1728, 23 years after the appearance of Mrs. Margaret Veal?s apparition, Elizabeth Singer Rowe published Friendship in Death, in Twenty Letters from the Dead to the Living. As its title suggests, this series of unrelated fictional letters reinforces the importance of friendship, both during one?s lifetime and afterwards. This chapter?s basic premise is that the fascination with ghosts roughly echoes the fascination with the invisible world brought to light with popularization of scientific technique and technology. The chapter argues that ghosts come to reflect a growing cultural emphasis on the emotions of the living and perhaps empirical limits to the study of death. It focuses on secular and religious imagery and messages.

Keywords: apparition; Elizabeth Singer Rowe; Friendship in Death ; ghosts; invisible world; Mrs. Margaret Veal; religious imagery



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