Eager Dead
A Sudy in Haunting

By Archie E. Roy
February 2008
Book Guild
Distributed By Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN: 9781846241833
590 pages, Illustrated, 6 1/4 x 9 1/2"
$42.50 Hardcover

In 1930 the great Conservative statesman Arthur James Balfour lay dying at Fishers Hill, the Surrey home of his brother, Gerald Balfour. Among those who visited him was the medium 'Mrs Willett' - Winfred Coombe-Tennant - whose powerful vision of a young woman watching lovingly over the ailing politician she subsequently recorded.

For a group of psychical researchers, the death of Arthur Balfour marked the culmination of one of the most famous incidents in the history of mediumship - the so-called Palm Sunday Case. In his youth, Arthur Balfour had fallen in love with the vivacious Mary Catherine Lyttelton, only for her to die of typhus on Palm Sunday, 1876, soon after he had decided to propose when next they met. Then, in the early 1900s, a number of mediums began to produce automatic scripts that purported to be dictated by 'entities' from beyond the grave, including Mary Lyttelton.

Through a rich skein of poetic and Classical allusions, the souls spoke of survival after death, of Mary's undying love for Balfour and, most mysteriously of all, of a coming saviour who would, they claimed, save the world. In this powerful, meticulously researched study, Archie E Roy explores the personalities of the psychical researchers who devoted their lives to interpreting the Scripts. Using previously unpublished materials from the archives of Jean, Countess of Balfour, he also takes the story forward, examining the continuing resonance of the Scripts and the fate of the men and women whose lives were haunted by their legacy.

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