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Overview

Among the utopian movements that flourished during the 19th century, the Brotherhood of the New Life was one of the most successful. Founded by Thomas Lake Harris, this movement figures prominently in any study of communal living in America.

This microfilm collection of papers and manuscripts relating to Harris, his mystical beliefs, and his cult provides researchers in Western history, philosophy, religion, sociology, and literature with a unique insight into one of the most influential leaders of utopian reform. Harris's prodigious writings have for years been a source of interest and information to literary scholars, students, and others researching the political, social, and religious climate during the age when utopian socialism flourished in America.

Included in this collection are the official documents of the New Life Brotherhood, publications it generated, and typescripts of Harris's unpublished books. There are also documents by and about prominent people who were attracted to the movement--most notably, British journalist Laurence Oliphant.

Also featured are 64 books, pamphlets, and serials, as well as all the known printed works by Harris, items about him, and books by and about Oliphant.

The papers of this famous spiritualist, who was once referred to as "America's best-known mystic," as well as others like him, provide researchers with unique insights into an interesting portion of American thought during a period of cultural growth and change.

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