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Darkened Rooms: Death, Spiritualism and the Great War
Over 400,000 men enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces to fight in World War I. Nearly one in every five of them was never to return. As every strata of society searched for meaning amidst such cataclysmic loss, many turned to Spiritualism — a fringe religion built on the belief that “death is not a cessation of life but a mere change in condition” and that those who had passed on could communicate with the living.
Why did so many rational men and women place their faith in Spiritualism? How did spirit mediums convince them that communication with the dead was possible? And what was the impact of Spiritualism on the Australian experience of the Great War? Join author Nadia Bailey as she draws from her research in the Library's collections for her historical novel in progress.
Nadia Bailey is a Melbourne-based author, journalist and editor. She was the 2019 UNESCO City of Literature Creative Resident in Kraków, Poland, and a 2018 Midsumma Futures Fellow. Her essays, short fiction and poetry have been widely represented in anthologies and journals, and she has published several books on popular culture with Smith Street Books.
Nadia Bailey is the 2020 Creative Arts Fellow for Australian Writing, supported by the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust.