Swedenborg Review 0.03 : Autumn 2021

Author: Peter Ackroyd, Roger Clarke, Jürgen Ghebrezgiabiher, Kristin King, Susan Sommers, et al.

Editor: Stephen McNeilly; Content Editor: James Wilson; Art Editor: Jonathan Sellers; Copy Editor: Avery Curran

Publisher: Swedenborg Society

Date of Publication: summer 2019

Place of Publication: London

Edition: first

Pages: 44

Dimensions: 384 mm x 273 mm

Language: English

Cover/Book Design: Kessler Voges (using Eric Gray film stills of David Niven and Kim Hunter)

ISBN: 978-0-85448-225-2


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SKU: B/SRMP03 Category:


The third issue of the Swedenborg Society’s new annual periodical featuring articles and reviews on contemporary events and books plus other cultural and literary activities.

A copy of the latest issue of the Swedenborg Review is free to all Members of the Swedenborg Society and Friends of Swedenborg House, along with other benefits, including a free gift of a notebook or sketchbook, and a 20% discount of titles in our bookshop (both at Swedenborg House and on the online bookstore). You can be a Friend of Swedenborg House for just £5 a year.




  1. Introducing Swedenborg—Peter Ackroyd. A preview extract from a forthcoming short life of Swedenborg by the acclaimed biographer.
  2. On the Conjugial Angel or Spirited Communications—Avery Curran. A review of On the Conjugial Angel by A S Byatt.
  3. The Hippish Spectrality of Food: Swedenborg and Green Tea—Roger Clarke. A look at some of the dietary links to hallucination and mystical experience, through the prism of Swedenborg, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and M R James.
  4. The Unity of a Life: Knausgaard on Swedenborg—Joel Smith. Swedenborg’s presence in Summer (Harvill Secker, 2018), the concluding volume in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Seasons Quartet series of books, provokes consideration of the relationship between autobiography, fiction and philosophy.
  5. A Piece of Swedenborg’s Poplar Tree Bark—Gertrude Gibbons. A prose piece that spirals out from a fragment of bark from a tree in Swedenborg’s garden in Stockholm into a contemplation of how his theory of correspondences influenced nineteenth-century French poets and their perception of the natural world.
  6. Touring with Angels, Great European Spirits & Some Darker Sides—Jürgen Ghebrezgiabiher. The resonances of Iain Sinclair, Emanuel Swedenborg, William Blake and Jacob Boehme are pursued, and pursue, in a contemplative and poetic account of the author’s journeys around London and Germany.
  7. Gardens of Heaven and Earth: An Interview with Kristin King—Kristin King in conversation with Avery Curran. A discussion of the role of gardens in Swedenborg’s life and writing, gender and the importance of the digital humanities, in a wide-ranging and reflective interview.
  8. Swedenborg’s Influence on Rimbaud—Joë Bousquet translated with an introduction by Oliver Hancock. The first-ever English translation of a curious essay on Swedenborg’s influence on Rimbaud, originally published in Critique, the influential journal founded by Georges Bataille.
  9. Peter Bénédict Chastanier (1739-1818): ‘An Easy Victim for the Heresy-Hunter’—Susan Mitchell Sommers. A discussion of the facts and myths in the complex life of a late eighteenth-century Swedenborgian and Freemason.
  10. Swedenborg’s London: Ulrika Eleonora Swedish Church—Stephen McNeilly. A look at a place that played a central role in the story of Swedenborg’s time in London. Stephen McNeilly locates the spot where Swedenborg’s body was interred and explores plans for a permanent monument.
  11. Living in Two Worlds: A Matter of Life & Death and Swedenborg—James Wilson. A look at the metaphysical and neurological parallels between Powell and Pressburger’s iconic film and the life and writings of Emanuel Swedenborg,.
  12. Interview with Swedenborg Film Festival winner Shirley Snow—Shirley Snow interviewed by Avery Curran. Interview with the creator of A Loud Boom Through the Night, which was a winner at SFF 2020.
  13. Swedenborg online—Avery Curran. A look over the recent events programme, affected by the coronavirus pandemic and held mostly online for the first time in the Society’s history.
  14. In memoriam: Inge Jonsson (1928-2020)—Stephen McNeilly. An obituary of the renowned Swedish academic and scholar.
  15. Madame Tussaud—James Wilson. A look at the brief but significant presence in the famous Madame Tussaud’s waxworks museum of Emanuel Swedenborg and one of his most important translators, John Clowes.
  16. Royal College of Art—Avery Curran. A report on the Hellish Love exhibition and event staged in collaboration with the Writing MA programme at the RCA.
  17. Swedenborg Film Festival 2020—James Wilson. A report on the first online iteration of the annual festival.
  18. The Swedenborg Society’s First Tenants at Swedenborg House—James Wilson. A brief look at some of the interesting people and companies that have been based at Swedenborg House.
  19. Bookshop—Some new titles available online and at Swedenborg House.


Author bios

PETER ACKROYD is a broadcaster, essayist and one of the UK’s foremost biographers and novelists. He has written nearly 40 works of non-fiction, and nearly 20 works of fiction. Among his many awards and honours are the Guardian Fiction Prize (1985), the Whitbread Biography Award (1984) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1998). He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1984 and was awarded a CBE in 2003.

JOË BOUSQUET (1897-1950) was a French poet and critic who was associated with the Surrealist movement, contributing regularly to the influential literary journals Les Cahiers du Sud and Critique.

ROGER CLARKE is the author of A Natural History of Ghosts (Penguin, 2013), and was the film critic at The Independent for 12 years. He has also worked at Sight & Sound and Screen International, and written for Variety.

AVERY CURRAN is a writer, artist’s assistant and freelance editor living in London. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in History and will soon complete an MA in Victorian Studies at Birkbeck. Her research interests lie in nineteenth-century spiritualism, queer history, and the history of material culture.

JÜRGEN GHEBREZGIABIHER is a poet, translator, lensman and bicycle mechanic, currently based in a former settlement ‘where the linden trees stand’. He likes to work on projects that enthuse and move him, and has a natural bent for playing most things by ear.

GERTRUDE GIBBONS is a writer based in London. She studied a Masters in Writing at the Royal College of Art, English at the University of York and French Literature in Paris. She has been co-editor of Soanyway magazine since its relaunch in 2018.

ERIC GRAY was a stills photographer who primarily worked in the British film industry, his photos also regularly featuring in the magazine Picture Post.

OLIVER J HANCOCK is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Liverpool researching depictions of children in recent American fiction. His other research interests include children’s literature, postmodernist fiction, science fiction, French literature, and the early twentieth-century avant-garde.

KRISTIN KING is a Professor of English and Communications at Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania. Her research interests and publications range from earlier work on Henry James, to studies of gardening as spiritual expression, to explorations of twentieth- and twenty-first-century novels and the ancient concept of wisdom-through-suffering. She explores digital literacies in higher education and is fascinated by the ways—both fruitful and unsettling—that an online world affects the ways we read and the stories we tell.

STEPHEN MCNEILLY is the Executive and Museum Director of the Swedenborg Society. He has curated numerous exhibitions at Swedenborg House and is series editor of the Swedenborg Archive Series and the Journal of the Swedenborg Society.

JOEL SMITH is senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Experiencing Phenomenology (2016) and is currently writing a book on existentialism.

SHIRLEY SNOW is a young artist, living between London and Edinburgh. She previously completed an art foundation course at Camden Working Men’s College, and currently studies Film and TV at Edinburgh College of Art. Her films are often experimental in form, combining text, archive footage, stills and her own moving image work. Her work also extends to short booklets (or chapbooks) which feature images and her writing on the subject of women and the wilderness. She treats Instagram similarly, as a platform for photographic sequences and ambiguous text passages.

SUSAN MITCHELL SOMMERS is a Professor of History at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. She earned her Ph.D. at Washington University in St Louis. Dr Sommers’s most recent book, The Siblys of London: A Family on the Esoteric Fringes of Georgian England, was published in 2018 by Oxford University Press. She and her family are weathering the pandemic in bucolic Southwestern Pennsylvania.

KESSLER VOGES is an artist, designer and photographer.

JAMES WILSON is the author of a novel Three Bridges (2014) and two collections of prose poems, All the Colours Fade and The Song Remains the Same (both 2012). He has also translated two books by the French writer Guy de Maupassant, To the Sun and The Foreign Soul & The Angelus (both 2008).











Additional information

Weight 0.23 kg
Dimensions 38.5 × 27.3 × 0.3 cm


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