Mesmerism – The Discovery of Animal Magnetism
In 1779, Franz Anton Mesmer wrote an 88-page book, Mémoire sur la découverte du magnétisme animal, to which he appended his famous 27 Propositions. While undertaking research, G.F. Frankau obtained, on loan from a private library, an original edition of Mesmer’s Mémoire sur la découverte de Magnétism Animal.
Realising its medico-historical importance and tempted by a layman’s vanity to undertake the translation himself, he eventually decided that the task could only be accomplished by an expert; He secured the services of Captain V. R. Myers of the Berlitz School of Languages. Myer’s rendering of the eighteenth-century French is highly praiseworthy.
The adjective “mesmeric”, the substantive “mesmerism”, and the verb to “mesmerise” have not changed their meanings since they first became current—posterity’s unique tribute to a unique man.