n.d. [1928, via COPAC] FIRST EDITION with TYPED LETTER FROM SPIRITUALIST COMMUNITY. 8vo, pp. , . Purple cloth, blind lettering and ruling to upper board. Shabby, spine sunned, wear and nicks to spine ends, corners bruised. Black pen mark to bottom edge. Endpapers tanned. POI to ffep: "R. G. Broughton/ London /1931," striking photographic portrait of Mrs St. Clair Stobart pasted to half-title. Typed letter (25th November 1930) to Robert Broughton from The Spiritual Community, signed by Vera Ray, Hon. Secretary pasted to rear free page: some creasing, a few light spots, else, pleasingly clean. The letter invites Broughton to 'take the Chair for [Mrs Stobart] on Sunday evening'. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's name is crossed out as President (following his death earlier in the year), with 'Hannen Swaffer' typed below. Shaken, else, clean: a good only copy of a scarce title, especially with Broughton's unique additions.
'Spiritualism's greatest woman,' Mabel Annie St. Clair Stobart (1862-1954) first gained distinction as an aid-worker. In 1912 she founded the Women's Sick and Wounded Convoy Corps (WSWCC) and the Women's Imperial Service League two years later. With the advent of WWI, she set up a field hospital in Belgium, and subsequently, with a commissioned rank of major (a first for a woman), served on the Balkan Front where she commanded the Serbian Relief Fund's field hospital, run by her all-female staff (ODNB and Crawford, Woman and Sphere). Following the deaths of her sons and husband, Stobart turned to Spiritualism during the interwar period. Author of Ancient Lights (1923) and Torchbearers of Spiritualism (1925), she was Chairman of the Spiritualist Community, which she had founded in 1924. Meetings took place at Grotian Hall, London; her friend, Conan Doyle, served as President until his death in July 1930. Like Annie Besant (see our book ref. 1307) and many other prominent women in the occult movements of spiritualism and theosophy, Stobart was a feminist and supporter of suffrage. Five copies listed on COPAC (BL, Cambridge, Oxford, NLS and Senate House Libraries).
Author St. CLAIR STOBART, Mrs.