The Literature and Curiosities of Dreams by Frank Seafield


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Lockwood, & Co., 1869. Second edition. 518 pages. 17 b & w plates, 5 of which are foldout double-page spread. Publishers original dark-green cloth, previous owners name on inside board, corners rubbed with a slight wear to edges, binding intact and text is clean. Several  related artworks appear to have been added to the book by a previous owner, neatly stuck down without obscuring any passages of text. A good, unique copy of a scarce title. 

The Literature and Curiosities of Dreams: A Commonplace Book of Speculations Concerning the Mystery of Dreams and Visions, Records of Curious and Well-authenticated Dreams, and Notes on the Various Modes of Interpretation Adopted in Ancient and Modern Times.

'First published in 1865, Frank Seafield’s The Literature and Curiosities of Dreams is a major 19th century contribution to dream theory. Drawing on anecdotal evidence, case studies, classical sources, and  contemporary scientific research, Seafield presents a history of dreams that attempts to explain their causes, effects and meanings.

The text is a rich and methodically arranged storehouse of dreams and of opinions thereon, which will be valued by many who are merely curious, as well as by those who are more seriously interested about the phenomena.

Lewis Carroll owned a copy of The Literature and Curiosities of Dreams, whose year of publication coincided with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Evidently, Carroll’s interest in dream was fed and developed through his personal reading. Aspects of Seafield’s work make for interesting comparison with Alice; his discussion of how ‘bodily sensations’ can shape dreams, for instance, provides a way to think about Alice’s experience of bodily changes in Wonderland. A 'Looking Glass' dream interpretation can be found in the appendix.  Freud mentions the book in his literature review in The Interpretation of Dreams.'

Category Parapsychology