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The Gates Ajar - Victorian “Spiritualist Novel”

The Gates Ajar - Victorian “Spiritualist Novel”

Regular price $85.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $85.00 USD
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Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s The Gates Ajar was the second most popular religious novel of the 19th century with 80,000 copies sold by 1900. This and its sequels Beyond the Gates and The Gates Between are known as her “Spiritualist novels.” The book is presented as a diary of a young woman, Mary, who has lost her brother, Roy, a soldier in the Civil War. Struggling with her faith as she grieves, she believes her brother appears to her. She finds comfort only with her widowed aunt: The book is mostly a dialogue between the two about the afterlife. In her version of heaven, the dead have “spiritual bodies” and participate in everyday activities the same as they would on earth. The book ends with a positive outlook, her faith restored.

This early edition was published in 1869 in plain, green cloth coverboards. It is inscribed on the front flyleaves, a gift from students to a beloved teacher. There is an ex-library stamp on the title page but no other institutional markings. Good condition overall.

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