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 Medium Alice Holland,    England. UK. 

or

Medium Alice MacDonald, or Medium Alice [Trix] Fleming,

Medium Alice Kipling,Alice Holland,Alice Kipling,

 

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 Alice Holland Medium,  England and India

Alice K Fleming, Mrs Holland, Trix Fleming,

1868 - 1948

 

The sister of author Rudyard Kipling, Alice Kipling, Trix Fleming, or Alice Fleming eventually adopted the pseudonym “Mrs. Holland” because members of her family were opposed to her involvement in occult matters. She was also known by the other names but not as much.

She was one of the seven principal Mediums involved in the famous cross-correspondences cases.

Alice was the wife of John Fleming, a British Army officer, Mrs. Fleming lived in India from about 1884 until about 1898, when an illness forced her to return to England.

In 1893, while living in India, she began automatic writing, often receiving poetry but occasionally letters for friends purportedly coming from their deceased loved ones. On September 19, 1903, soon after reading “Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death,” Frederic W. H. Myers’ seminal work completed after his death in 1901, Fleming began receiving messages purportedly coming from Myers via automatic writing.

The initial messages were short and apparently an attempt by Myers to convince her of his identity. He told her that much of what he would write through her was not meant for her, that she was to be the reporter.

She was asked to send the messages to the SPR in London. Fleming complied by contacting Alice Johnson, then secretary of the SPR.

In a subsequent message, Myers told Fleming not to worry about being made a fool or dupe. “It’s a form of restless vanity to fear that your hand is imposing upon yourself, as it were,” Myers communicated to her. “...If it were possible for the soul to die back into earth life again I should die from sheer yearning to reach you -- to tell you that all that we imagined is not half wonderful enough for the truth… If I could only reach you -- if I could only tell you -- I long for power and all that comes to me is an infinite yearning -- an infinite pain. Does any of this reach you -- reaching anyone -- or am I only wailing as the wind wails -- wordless and unheeded?”

On January 5, 1904, Myers wrote that he was in a “bound to earth condition.” but it was largely of a voluntary choice. “I am, as it were, actuated by the missionary spirit; and the great longing to speak to the souls in prison -- still in the prison of flesh -- leads me to ‘absent me from felicity awhile.’”

 On another occasion, Myers wrote that “to believe that the mere act of death enables a Spirit to understand the whole mystery of death is as absurd as to imagine that the act of birth enables an infant to understand the whole mystery of life.” He added that he was still groping… surmising… conjecturing. Fleming also received messages from Edmund Gurney and Roden Noel, both, according to Sir William Barrett, unknown to her. A message from Noel said to ask “A.W.” what the date May 26, 1894 meant to him, and if he could not remember, to ask Nora.

Not knowing what to make of the message, Fleming sent the message to the SPR in London, where it was recognized that Noel was referring to his good friends, Dr. A. W. Verrall and Dr. Eleanor (Nora) Sidgwick. May 26 was the date of Noel’s death. On January 17, 1904, Fleming recorded another message purportedly coming from Myers. He gave the biblical reference I Cor. xvi, 12. He told her that he tried to get the entire wording through in Greek but could not get her hand to form Greek characters, and so he gave only the reference. On the very same day, thousands of miles away in England, Margaret Verrall also received the same biblical reference from Myers by means of automatic writing.

The biblical passage, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong,” was the wording inscribed in Greek over the gateway of Selwyn College, Cambridge, under which Myers frequently passed.

This was apparently the first of what came to be known as the “cross-correspondences” – similar messages through different Mediums around the world or fragmentary messages sent through different Mediums which in themselves had no meaning until the SPR linked them up and made a complete message out of them. Her contribution was described in several papers by Alice Johnson in the Proceedings of the SPR (1908-09).

Fleming continued to do automatic writing until 1910, when she suffered a nervous breakdown.

Text courtesy of Michael Tymn, author of The Articulate Dead where Michael examines several of the best Mediums of yesteryear and the scientific research surrounding them.

 

Alice (Trix) Kipling Fleming (1868-1948) and Evelyn Pickering De Morgan (1855-1919) (Pls 1, 2) were two late-Victorian women with much in common. (2) Both were well-educated and literate women who inhabited the privileged social and artistic circles of their day. Evelyn was an ambitious artist and the niece of the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Roddam Spencer Stanhope John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, of Hillhouse, Cawthorne, laterly of Villa Nuti, Florence, was an exhibitor in the Royal Academy. He was born Jan. 21st, 1829, and married, Jan. 1859, Elizabeth, third daughter of John King, of Preston and Andover, Hants.  (1829-1908). Through her marriage to William De Morgan William Frend De Morgan (November 16, 1839 – January 15, 1917) was a British potter and tile designer. A life-long friend of William Morris, he designed tiles, stained glass and furniture for Morris & Co. from 1863 to 1872.  (1839-1917), she had become a member of a brilliant and bohemian family circle. Alice, a talented writer, was the daughter of Alice Macdonald and John Lockwood Kipling, the sister of author Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) and niece of Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98). That they knew each other socially is not unusual but that they shared a special bond is evident by the fact that between 1897 and 1901 Fleming wrote verses on at least four of De Morgan's paintings (Gordon 21). We also know that they shared an enthusiasm that both women chose to keep private: an interest in spiritualism spiritualism: see spiritism.
spiritualism

Belief that the souls of the dead can make contact with the living, usually through a medium or during abnormal mental states such as trances.
 and specifically in automatic writing. In this essay I will discuss how spiritualism affected the lives of both women and how their spiritualist beliefs are reflected in De Morgan's painting The Valley of Shadows (Pl 3) and the verses that Fleming wrote about that work.


Spiritualism, a popular movement introduced to Britain from America at mid-century, thrived as an antidote to the materialism and religious uncertainty that had been caused by the combined influences of
biblical criticism
This article is about the academic treatment of the bible as a historical document. This is not the same thing as Criticism of the Bible, which is where criticisms are made against the Bible as a source of reliable information or ethical guidance.

..... Click the link for more information., philosophical positivism positivism (pŏ`zĭtĭvĭzəm), philosophical doctrine that denies any validity to speculation or metaphysics. Sometimes associated with empiricism, positivism maintains that metaphysical questions are unanswerable and that the only , and recent geological and evolutionary theories (Richards 218). It was based upon two fundamental propositions: that human personality survives bodily death and that it is possible to communicate with this surviving personality or Spirit through a human Medium (Tuchman and Freeman 384). It was able to do so by utilizing the optimism inherent in the Victorian belief in progress to construct a metaphysical interpretation of evolutionary theory
''This article is about the creole theory. You may be looking for the concept of biological evolution. For other uses, see Evolution (disambiguation).



Main article: Creole language
The evolutionary perspective  into the spiritual realm.

The spread of Spiritualist practices and thought throughout British society was accomplished in great part by the participation of an extraordinary number of well-known intellectuals who became involved with psychical experimentation either as a way to bolster their own flagging faith in an afterlife or because of a desire to explore
psychic phenomena Noun 1. psychic phenomena - phenomena that appear to contradict physical laws and suggest the possibility of causation by mental processes
parapsychology, psychic phenomenon
 (Oppenheim 29-39; Owen 19-21). Artists and writers such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Dante Gabriel Dante Gabriel may refer to:
  • Dante Gabriel Ramírez Erazo (21st century), Director of Roads in Honduras
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), English poet, illustrator, painter, and translator
 Rossetti were just a few of the well-known Victorians who had a keen interest in the movement. For many of these writers and artists it was the visionary writings of the Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) that helped them to envisage the notion of spiritual progress (Porter 8-27).

Furthermore, thanks to recent scholarship, 19th-century women's interest in spiritualism has been recognized as part of the spirit of reform that was a hallmark of that age.
Owing to owing to
prep.
Because of; on account of: I couldn't attend, owing to illness.

owing to prepdebido a, por causa de 
 its lack of dogma and hierarchy, spiritualism became a new source of female empowerment. Victorians generally perceived women to be better Mediums than men because of their keen sense of intuition. Consequently, many women played prominent roles in the movement (Owen 19-40).

While some merely dabbled in such fashionable practices as seances, there were others who undertook systematic and sustained experimentation into the Spirit World with the hope of gaining new insight and knowledge. As curious intelligent women
Evelyn De MorganEvelyn De Morgan (30 August, 1855-2 May,1919) was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter.

She was born Evelyn Pickering on 30 August, 1855. Her parents were of upper middle class. Her father was Percival Pickering QC, the Recorder of Pontefract.
.....
Click the link for more information.
 and Trix Fleming were part of the latter group. Because, however, of the widespread instance of fraud that existed within the more public displays of spiritualist practice, both women chose to keep their spiritualist practice private.

Today Trix Kipling Fleming is most often remembered as the sister of Rudyard and like him she was raised in England and India. Like her brother and parents she was consumed with writing verse, plays, and two novels entitled The Heart of the Maid (1890) (under the
pseudonympseudonym (s`dənĭm) [Gr.,=false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name).
.....
Click the link for more information.
 Beatrice Grange) and A Pinchbeck pinch·beck  
n.
1. An alloy of zinc and copper used as imitation gold.

2. A cheap imitation.

adj.
1. Made of pinchbeck.

2. Imitation; spurious.
 Goddess (1897). She also published a volume of poetry with her mother entitled Hand in Hand: Verses by a Mother and Daughter (1902). Until relatively recently

Rudyard Kipling's sister was known less for her accomplishments than for the bouts of mental instability that marred her life for approximately 20 years. Biographers of the Kipling family note that her family blamed her psychological problems on her involvement with spiritualism, which has unwittingly perpetuated the notion that Trix's curiosity in the supernatural was detrimental to her mental health (Baldwin 126). (3) It was not until 2004 that Lorna Lee and the Kipling Society published a biography, aptly entitled Trix: Kipling's Forgotten Sister, that gives a fuller picture of her life. In it Trix's long-standing curiosity about the supernatural is recalled by her cousin, Florence Macdonald, in a quotation from her 1949 remembrance of Trix in the Kipling Journal: [...] Another gift Trix possessed, and this was a doubtful blessing.

From early girlhood she saw Ghosts or Spirits, and in her later years the gift developed considerably, so that she was able to converse with many who had passed into the spirit world. These experiences had no terror for her, but were only of intense interest, and she wondered why others couldn't see what she saw. (Lee 121-2)

Her cousin's description of Trix's life-long interest in the spiritual realm is accurate: it became both a blessing and a curse. As a young girl her interest in the occult was probably considered benign by her creative family and this eccentricity surely added charm to an already sparkling personality. After her marriage, however, to Colonel
John Fleming

For other people named John Fleming, see John Fleming (disambiguation).


John Fleming
was a judge in Cumberland County, Virginia and had been in the House of Burgesses for 10+ years.
 at the age of 21 in 1889 it seems that her emotional life entered its long period of instability. While the nature of her psychological condition cannot be known it manifested itself with intermittent periods of depression and anxiety (Baldwin 126; Adelson 4-15) Unable to cope with her erratic behavior her husband institutionalized her for periods of time (Lee 32-40). Rudyard would always believe spiritualism (4) was to blame for his sister's problems, telling their Aunt Edith Macdonald:
   My own idea is, and always has been, that her being let into the
   soul-destroying business of 'Spiritualism' affected her mind much
   more profoundly and permanently than anyone dared to say when the
   trouble first began. It must have been a terribly serious business:
   and it included, I think, all the delusions that attacked her after
   my Father's and Mother's death. (5)


Despite these difficult periods in her life Trix seems not to have been deterred from engaging in her enthusiasm, and Trix has become recognized as one of the movement's pioneers. She was one of the participants of the Cross-Correspondences, a well-documented automatic writing experiment conducted under the auspices of the
Society for Psychical Research The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) is a non-profit organization which started in the United Kingdom and later acquired branches in other countries. Its stated purpose is to understand "events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal by promoting and  between 1903 and 1910 (Lee 29; Baldwin 125). (6) The Society for Psychical Research (SPR spr Spring
SPR Strategic Petroleum Reserve
SPR Surface Plasmon Resonance
SPR Suomen Punainen Risti
SpR Specialist Registrar (UK doctor who supports a consultant)
SPR Society for Psychical Research
SPR Stop Prisoner Rape
), founded in 1882 by a group of prominent intellectuals, was the first learned society with the purpose of scientifically investigating psychic phenomena. The Cross-Correspondence experiment was a collaborative venture amongst various individuals who channelled messages from the dead as well as communicating telepathically with each other. (7) Trix participated in this series of experiments under the pseudonym 'Mrs. Holland', for reasons of privacy, but it must be said that her prolonged involvement in this venture can be taken as indicating a seriousness of purpose that was not recognized by her family.

The available evidence indicates that it was automatic writing (along with
crystal gazing crystal gaz·ing
n.
1.
Divination by gazing into a crystal ball.

2. The making of determinations or predictions using questionable or unscientific means.



crystal gazer n.
) that was Trix's primary form of psychic experimentation. Many of those Victorian intellectuals who were interested in spiritualism may have experimented with automatic writing because they felt it could be an aid to their creativity. Because she was a writer, Trix found that her automatic writing exercises often took the form of verse. Unlike her usual methodical approach to composing poems, Trix described her automatic verse as coming very rapidly and though 'often childishly simple in wording and jingling in rhyme are rarely trivial in subject' (Johnson 171). From this description of the difference between her conventional and trance poetry Lorna Lee (Lee 30) concludes that no specifically designated original copies of Trix's automatic verses have survived, although it is possible that Trix did not always label her trance verses as such. She did, however, give examples in her correspondence with Alice Johnson in 1903 (Johnson 172-3). Also presumed to have been lost are another series of automatic scripts/letters which Trix described as 'messages through me to a well-beloved. In every case the communication was utterly unsought by me, and came as a complete surprise to the recipient, who was always a recent acquaintance, never one of my friends' (Johnson 123-4).

It may, none the less, have been trance writing and their mutual interest in Spiritualism that brought Trix together with William and Evelyn De Morgan in the early 1890s. In her biography William De Morgan and his Wife, A.M.W. Stirling reprints a trance poem (Stirling 84-5) entitled St George in the Transvaal inspired by a rare early painting by William De Morgan of St George (untraced). Trix had first met the irrepressible William De Morgan in 1873 when as a child of five she spent Christmas with her aunt and uncle Burne-Jones at their home the Grange (Stirling 84).
Twenty years TWENTY YEARS. The lapse of twenty years raises a presumption of certain facts, and after such a time, the party against whom the presumption has been raised, will be required to prove a negative to establish his rights.
     2.
 later this renewal of a friendship with an old family friend also brought her together with Evelyn De Morgan whom she could not have failed to recognize as a kindred spirit A Kindred Spirit (真情) was a television drama series that was broadcast on TVB Jade in Hong Kong from May 15, 1995 to November 11, 1999. It is one of the longest running drama shows in Hong Kong television history (the longest being the sitcom Hong Kong 81 series). .



Indeed, had Trix spent more time in England instead of India and been more a part of her extended family's bohemian circle it is possible to imagine that her life may have been more like that of Evelyn. In the early 1880s the young Evelyn Picketing, as she was before her marriage, raised in an aristocratic environment, was introduced to the eccentric atmosphere of the De Morgan family circle where creativity and progressive thought were de rigeur. Evelyn's future husband William was an accomplished designer and his sister Mary a writer of fairy tales. It was, however, the family matriarch, Sophia Frend De Morgan (1809-92), who had most influence upon the young Miss Pickering. (8)

Sophia was one of the pre-eminent figures in modern Spiritualism and the author of From Matter to Spirit: The Result of Ten Years' Experience in Spirit Manifestations intended as a Guide to Inquirers (1863), accurately described as 'an adaptation of Emanuel Swedenborg's philosophy to modern Spiritualism' (Porter 123). This volume served as a chronicle of Sophia's own experiences with the supernatural and a guide to the various forms of mediumship. Sophia emphasized in this book how private spiritualist practice could become an aid to artistic creativity. Automatic writing and drawing were vividly illustrated and encouraged as means by which individuals with highly developed spiritual natures could become mediums for the conveyance of spiritual truths.
According to according to
prep.
1.
As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Sophia, these individuals entered into a unique collaboration with a spiritual entity that was expressed through symbolic language (1) A programming language that uses symbols, or mnemonics, for expressing operations and operands. All modern programming languages are symbolic languages.

(2) A language that manipulates symbols rather than numbers. See list processing.
. For an idealistic young woman such as Evelyn, who already had a penchant for symbolism and allegory in her art, her reading of the following passage in From Matter to Spirit must have been revelatory:

... each Medium is chosen for a special quality, which enables him to transmit the sentiments required ... In the case of communication from spirit to mortal, the imagery or ideas contained in the medium's brain takes the place of words. And each Medium furnishes a different capacity for the transmission of feeling or thought, and a different vocabulary or series of images in which to embody it. (Sophia F De Morgan 272-3)

The artist was to take this advice to heart, embarking with William on an extended period of experimentation with automatic writing. In 1909, they published their findings anonymously under the title The Result of an Experiment. This book consisted of over 200 transcripts meant to be messages from Spiritual Entities. There are striking similarities between the language used in the automatic scripts and imagery found in De Morgan's paintings. The primary correspondence between the scripts and the paintings being the parallel descriptions of Swedenborgian spiritual evolution. Today it is through these Spiritualist allegories that she has become distinguished from other late Victorian painters. Clearly, it was within this progressive familial context that Evelyn was able to utilize spiritualist experimentation as an important vehicle for her creativity.

It is tempting to speculate how Trix too might have developed as a more mature writer had her husband and family not felt that her spiritualist experimentation was detrimental to her well-being. Surrounded by an
overprotective o·ver·pro·tect  
tr.v. o·ver·pro·tect·ed, o·ver·pro·tect·ing, o·ver·pro·tects
To protect too much; coddle: overprotected their children.
 and sceptical family during periods of mental distress Mental distress is a term used, both by some mental health practitioners and users of mental health services, to describe a range of symptoms and experiences of a person's internal life that are commonly held to be troubling, confusing or out of the ordinary. , Trix was not allowed to give full expression to her creativity in the way that Evelyn was, and most of her verses went unpublished until the 2004 biography compiled what remained. It must therefore have been very gratifying to find friends like William and Evelyn De Morgan with whom she could share her curiosity about the Spirit World.

Beginning in 1897 Trix wrote a series of poems inspired by Evelyn's art (see Gordon). While it is not known whether any of these poems were written as trance verse, they are Trix's meditations on the subjects of Evelyn's paintings: The Thorny Path (a painting of 1897, Pietermaritzburg S.A., Tatham Art Gallery) describes the consequences of choosing a spiritual life; Love's Piping (painting of 1900, formerly the De Morgan Foundation, destroyed by fire) reflects the dangers of romantic love; and Victoria Dolorosa (painting of 1901, formerly the De Morgan Foundation, destroyed by fire) is a response to the consequences of military victory. Finally, Trix also wrote a poem on Evelyn's sculptural bust of Medusa (untraced). (9)

It is, however, another painting, The Valley of Shadows (PI 1) that brought together artist and poet in a collaboration of sorts. The Valley of Shadows is De Morgan's summary statement of her beliefs about the process of spiritual and moral development on the physical or earthly plane prior to death. In this work, figures make their tentative way through the obscured landscape along the rocky path of life's hardships. As each approaches the crossroads they are met by the allegorical figure of Fortune who indiscriminately bestows her favours and cannot be relied upon as a spiritual guide. Moving past her, three individuals confront moral choices that ultimately determine their fate. The far-right figure has abandoned all hope and, in an attitude of despair, is led resignedly into the tomb. On the other hand, the far-left bound figure has pursued earthly wealth and power and has been crushed in the process. A snake lurks ominously among the brambles. Finally, only the central figure, who has
forsaken for·sake  
tr.v. for·sook , for·sak·en , for·sak·ing, for·sakes
1. To give up (something formerly held dear); renounce: forsook liquor.

2.
 earthly for spiritual concerns, perceives the redemptive light shed by the angelic messenger in the distant sky The Valley of Shadows contrasts those who are morally and spiritually blind with those who have the faith to perceive the light of salvation. The message that faith is a critical component of spiritual enlightenment is implied by the painting's title which takes its inspiration from language found in the Twenty-Third Psalm and in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress Pilgrim’s Progress

Bunyan’s allegory of life. [Br. Lit.: Eagle, 458]

See : Journey
. (10) A rock in the foreground reiterates the painting's message in the artist's own verses.
   Dark is the Valley of Shadows
   Empty the Power of Kings
   Blind the Favour of Fortune
   Hungry the Caverns of Death
   Dim is the Light from Beyond
   Unanswered the Riddle of Life.


In addition to this inscription there are passages from Evelyn's own automatic scripts that parallel the paintings imagery and message:

A mist is round you. Press on, for your time on earth is short. You are in a dark valley, and round you are mountains that you must scale before you can see light. The highest peak hides you from Faith. Climb it and trust in God, and the lesser mountains will crumble before your gaze. (Result of an Experiment, 44)

Trix Kipling's response to her friend's painting was the following poem:
   Dark is the Valley--the Valley of Shadows
   Weary of heart and of life is the King--
   He sits among ruins, and thorny the meadows,
   The meadows unfruitful, forgotten the Spring.
   A green snake is keeping the Palace's portal,
   The lizard is warder of the desolate halls,
   And wine has no savour, and Love the Immortal
   Seems fading at even, as fast as the light falls.
   O, Dark is the Valley, the Valley at even,
   The King's brow is clouded, the King's heart is black,
   His down-gazing eyes give no glance to the Heaven,
   Where angels are winging their homeward-bound track-
   Sure in this dark hour at brink of the grave
   The Slave seems the Monarch, the Monarch the Slave

(Gordon 22)


In these verses Trix joins Evelyn in pondering the fate of the soul at death but her conclusions reveal a significant difference in outlook between the two women. Trix's emphasis is not on the journey that all souls take and the moral choices that are possible but rather is narrowly focused on the individual fate of the male figure. Posed in an attitude of both cruelty and melancholy, this figure of earthly power, when confronted with his own mortality, finds himself impotent. Trix's use of
fatalistic fa·tal·ism  
n.
1. The doctrine that all events are predetermined by fate and are therefore unalterable.

2. Acceptance of the belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable.
 imagery to describe the approach of death for this lost soul is only briefly interrupted by her mention of the angelic figures who ascend heavenward. Her description of death as 'this dark hour' rather than the moment of rebirth is in sharp contrast with Evelyn's more optimistic view. Both women present the consequences of neglecting the spiritual for the temporal, but in her verses Trix offers little hope of redemption for this particular earthbound soul.

While Trix would clearly have understood the Spiritualist ideas embodied in her friend's painting, her own poetic reaction is more cautionary, with its focus on the passive male figure that represents despair, while ignoring the dynamic female martyr figure that so clearly symbolizes hope. While we cannot know whether or not this poem was written at a time of particular mental distress for Trix, we do know that the disapproval of her family of all ideas related to Spiritualism may have prevented her from adopting it as a belief system as freely as Evelyn. She revealed her conflict about her
clairvoyance clairvoyance (klâr'voi`əns), alleged power to perceive, as though visually, objects or persons not discernible through the ordinary sense channels.  and her automatic writing to Alice Johnson of the Society for Psychical Research:

I prize my health and strength exceedingly, and it puzzles me a little that with it, and with no desire to consider myself exceptional, I do sometimes see, hear, feel, or otherwise become conscious of beings and influences that are not patent to all. Is this a frame of mind to be checked, or permitted, or encouraged? I should like so much to know. My own people hate what they call 'uncanniness' so I am obliged to hide from them the keen interest I cannot help feeling in psychic matters. (Johnson 174)



This statement makes clear that in spite of disapproval Trix would not be deterred from pursuing her keen interest in psychical activities. From what we know, her involvement with Spiritualism was concentrated upon psychic experimentation that would validate spiritualism's claim of an afterlife rather than adoption of its Swedenborgian notions of spiritual progress. Indeed, we have no evidence that she looked to spiritualism as a means of revelation or belief system. Instead, what appears to have lain beneath this intrepid experimentation was a great generosity of spirit by which Trix sought to use her gifts as a medium to help and comfort others. And so in spite of the resistance that she faced, spiritualism and its practices clearly gave Trix Kipling Fleming's life meaning and purpose.

Trix clearly valued her friendship with William and Evelyn De Morgan. In a letter to William in 1908 she speaks freely:

I am as certain of life's continuance as I am that I now live--but nothing really comforts the present pain of the parting here and now. Do you remember my automatic script? You and Evelyn are of the few I do venture to talk to about it. (Stirling 299-300)

Surely the freedom to speak openly with Evelyn must have been a great comfort and validation to Trix. While she may not have shared Evelyn's depth of belief in Spiritualism's tenets she must have enjoyed knowing a fellow-artist who had devoted her career to developing a visual language with which to express Spiritualist beliefs. Because Evelyn also kept private her spiritualist beliefs she too must have been
gratified grat·i·fy  
tr.v. grat·i·fied, grat·i·fy·ing, grat·i·fies
1. To please or satisfy: His achievement gratified his father. See Synonyms at please.

2.
 to find a friend such as Trix who understood her art in a way many could not One can well imagine lively conversations about fundamental human questions held in Evelyn's studio where these two sisters in spirit would have been surrounded by paintings expressing similar subject-matter.

Through their extensive experimentation with automatic writing both women came to believe in an afterlife but, more importantly, spiritualism engendered in both women a desire to promote the greater good. For the fragile Trix Kipling Fleming, it provided her with the tools with which to be of service to others. Despite her own personal turmoil during the period of the Cross Correspondence project, she persevered in order to assist the Society for Psychical Research to prove the existence of communication between this world and the next. Proof of an afterlife was a consolation to many during the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century at a time when death often took loved ones so suddenly, whether through illness or war. Consequently, it seems as if Trix was able to feel great satisfaction in being able to convey personal messages to others from departed spiritual entities.

For Evelyn De Morgan, Spiritualism provided more than artistic inspiration and a strong personal faith. Its ideas were also critical to the development of her keen social conscience. Though never overtly political, Evelyn understood well the nexus between Spiritualism and other reform movements in the late 19th century. Thus in addition to spiritualist-inspired paintings Evelyn also produced moral allegories which show her engagement with the social issues of her times including poverty, socialism and
women's rights The effort to secure equal rights for women and to remove gender discrimination from laws, institutions, and behavioral patterns.

The women's rights movement began in the nineteenth century with the demand by some women reformers for the right to vote, known as suffrage, and
.

In particular, Trix Kipling Fleming and Evelyn Picketing De Morgan were drawn together, through their mutual interests, to become artistic collaborators on The Valley of Shadows. This collaboration may finally have provided Trix with some compensation for the fact that she was forced by circumstances never to give full expression to her literary gifts.

Works cited within the text

(abbreviated references in bold)

Adelson Dorothy Adelson, 'Kipling's Sister', Kipling Society Journal, 44 (1977), pp4-15

Baldwin Arthur Windham Baldwin, The Macdonald Sisters, London, 1960

Mrs JM Fleming (Trix Kipling), A Pinchbeck Goddess, London, 1897

Beatrice Grange (pseud of Trix Kipling), The Heart of a Maid, Allahabad, 1890

[Trix and Alice Kipling] Hand in Hand: Verses by a Mother and Daughter, London, 1902

Gordon Catherine Gordon, ed, Evelyn De Mrgan: Oil Paintings, London, 1996

Alice Johnson, 'On the Automatic Writing of Mrs. Holland', Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 21 (1908)

Alice Johnson, 'Second Report on Mrs. Holland's Scripts', Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1910

Alice Johnson, 'Supplementary Notes on Mrs. Holland's Scripts', Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1910

Alice Johnson, 'Third Report on Mrs. Holland's Scripts', Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 1910

Lee Lorna Lee, Trix: Kipling's Forgotten Sister, Peterborough, 2004

Oppenheim Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and
Psychical Research psychical research: see parapsychology.  in England, 1850-1914, Cambridge, 1985

Owen Alex Owen, The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England, Chicago, 1989

Porter Katherine Porter,
Through a Glass Darkly Through A Glass Darkly is an abbreviated form of a much-quoted phrase from the Christian New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13. The phrase is interpreted to mean that humans have an imperfect perception of reality[1]. : Spiritualism in the Browning Circle, New York New York, state, United States
New York,
 Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
, 1958

Result Evelyn De Morgan and William De Morgan, The Result of an Experiment, London, 1909

Richards Bernard Richards,
English Poetry The history of English poetry stretches from the middle of the 7th century to the present day. Over this period, English poets have written some of the most enduring poems in European culture, and the language and its poetry have spread around the globe.  of the Victorian Period 1830-1890, London, 1988

Sophia F De Morgan Sophia F De Morgan, From Matter to Spirit: The Result of Ten Years' Experience in Spirit Manifestations. Intended As a Guide to Enquirers. By C.D. with a Preface by A. B. [
Augustus De Morgan Augustus De Morgan (June 27, 1806 – March 18, 1871) was an Indian-born British mathematician and logician. He formulated De Morgan's laws and was the first to introduce the term, and make rigorous the idea of mathematical induction. ], London, 1863

Stirling AMW AMW America's Most Wanted (TV show)
AMW Air Mobility Wing
AMW Amphibious Warfare
AMW Ask Me Why (Beatles song)
AMW Angewandte Medienwissenschaft (German: Applied Media Studies) 
 Stirling, William De Morgan and His Wife, New York, 1922

Tuchman and Freeman Maurice Tuchman, with Judi Freeman, The Abstract in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985, exh cat.,
Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  Museum of Art, 1986

(1) I am grateful to my research partner, Nic Peeters, for his valuable assistance in preparing this article for publication.

(2) The standard biographies for Fleming and De Morgan are Lorna Lee, Trix: Kipling's Forgotten Sister, Peterborough, 2004, and AMW Stirling, William De Morgan and His Wife, New York, 1922. Until Lee's biography most information about Trix was to be found in Arthur Windham Baldwin, The Macdonald Sisters, London, 1960; Ina Taylor, Victorian Sisters, London, 1987; Judith Flanders, A Circle of Sisters: Alice Kipling, Georgiana Burne-Jones, and Agnes Poynter and Louisa Baldwin, London and New York, 2005; and Dorothy Adelson, 'Kipling's Sister', Kipling Society Journal, 44 (1977), pp4-15.

(3) It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the link that Victorian society made between spiritualism and madness. However, the tendency to associate spiritualism and madness was commonplace and certainly not confined to the Kipling family. See Owen (pp139, 140-2, 147-67). Judith Walkowitz discusses the case of Georgina Weldon who was faced with
lunacy lunacy: see insanity.  confinement in 'Science and the Seance: Transgressions of Gender and Genre', ch 6 (pp171-89), City of Dreadful Delight, Chicago, 1992.

(4) John McGivering has noted Rudyard Kipling's virulent distrust of Spiritualism in the poem En-Dor. See <http://www.kipling.org.uk/rg_bi saral.htm> accessed December 30, 2008.

'Behold there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at En-Dor.'
I Samuel Noun 1. I Samuel - the first of two books in the Old Testament that tell of Saul and David
1 Samuel

Old Testament - the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews and recording their history as the chosen people; the first half of the
, xxviii, 7.
   THE ROAD to En-dor is easy to
   tread
   For Mother or yearning Wife.
   There, it is sure, we shall meet
   our Dead
   As they were even in life.
   Earth has not dreamed of the
   blessing in store
   For desolate hearts on the road
   to En-dor.
   Whispers shall comfort us out of
   the dark--
   Hands--ah God!--that we knew!
   Visions and voices--look and
   hark!--
   Shall
   prove that the tale is true,
   An that those who have passed to
   the further shore
   May' be hailed--at a price--on
   the road to En-dor.
   But they are so deep in their new
   eclipse
   Nothing they say can reach,
   Unless it be uttered by alien lips
   And framed in a stranger's
   speech.
   The son must send word to the
   mother that bore,
   'Through an hireling's mouth.
   'Tis the rule of En-dor.
   And not for nothing these gifts
   are shown
   By such as delight our dead.
   They must twitch and stiffen and
   slaver and groan
   Ere the eyes are set in the head,
   And the voice from the belly
   begins. Therefore,
   We pay them a wage where they
   ply at En-dor.
   Even so, we have need of faith
   And patience to follow the clue.
   Often, at first, what the dear one
   saith
   Is babble, or jest, or untrue.
   (Lying spirits perplex us sore
   Till our loves--and their lives--
   are well-known
   at En-dor) ...
   Oh the road to En-dor is the
   oldest road
   And the craziest road of all!
   Straight it runs to the Witch's
   abode,
   As it did in the days of Saul,
   And nothing has changed of the
   sorrow in store
   For such as go down on the road
   to En-dor!


(5) Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University Libraries. Rudyard Kipling Collection, MS/00076/3-60. Letter from Rudyard Kipling to Edith Macdonald, 3 June 1927. Quoted with kind permission.

(6) Much of the primary research to be found about Trix Kipling's involvement with the project is to be found in Alice Johnson's documentation of the project (which took place 1903-10) in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research published 1908-10.

(7) For a description of the project see: <http://www.prairieghosts.com/cross_corr.html> accessed November 23, 2007.

(8) For more information on Sophia De Morgan's influence upon Evelyn De Morgan see Judy Oberhausen, 'Evelyn De Morgan and Spiritualism' in Gordon, pp32-53.

(9) In the
De Morgan Centre The De Morgan Centre for the Study of 19th Century Art and Society is a museum and gallery in the London Borough of Wandsworth, England that houses a large collection of the work of the Victorian ceramic artist William De Morgan and his wife, the painter Evelyn De Morgan.  archive there is a handwritten hand·write  
tr.v. hand·wrote , hand·writ·ten , hand·writ·ing, hand·writes
To write by hand.



[Back-formation from handwritten.]

Adj. 1.
 poem said to be by Trix on Evelyn's sculpture Medusa (untraced) an image which is reproduced in Stirling's biography (p186). It reads as follows:
'Is there no period set: Is pain
eternal?
Still though the eons must her
vipers sting?
For all Eternity the anguish burn?
An endless circle, endless
suffering!
Beauty has lit heaven, shut deep
in Hell.'
I thank Lois Drawmer for this
information.


(10) The Twenty-Third Psalm from the King James Version of the Bible is one of the most frequently quoted biblical passages. It reads:

'A Psalm of David:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of Death Valley of the Shadow of Death

life’s gloominess. [O.T.: Psalms 23:4]

See : Melancholy
, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.'

Likewise, the allegorical story of Christian's journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City, described in The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to that Which is to Come (1678), was well known and loved by Victorian readers.

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