Excerpt from The Power of the Eye in Coleridge
For an understanding of his poetry, it seems advantageous to turn from his own later stud ies, however extended, to the general interest in mesmerism evinced by the contemporaries of Coleridge during the formative period of his b... oyhood and youth. This interest was lively on the Continent, because of the vogue of Mes mer and his immediate disciples (his paper on the discovery of magnetism having been pub lished in and because cf the stir aroused by the commissions appointed in France to inquire into the validity of his pretensions;25 and it was lively in England shortly after, for example at London and Bristol, through the vogue of mesmerists like the celebrated Dr. John Bell and Dr. J. B. De Mainauduc 2 This latter personage left an extraordinary reputa tion at Bristol, so that Coleridge should ulti mately have heard about him there; though it seems probable that he must have known some thing of the great magnetizer while a schoolboy at Christ's Hospital in London.
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