Dark Histories

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Joanna Southcott, The Panacea Society & The Mystery Box

April 26, 2021
The end of the 18th Century saw the birth of a long line of religious movements focused on the end of days and the biblical second coming. Central to this string of beliefs was an unimposing domestic servant who began to have visions in her mid-life, which she claimed were divine in nature, eventually leading to her insistence that she was a prophetess and at the young age of 64, was pregnant with the new messiah. Far from fading away after the holy childs due date came and went, the movement continued under several different guises for hundreds of years, culminating with the belief in a holy book of dinner etiquette and a mysterious wooden box, the contents of which were lying in wait until called upon to rescue Britain from its catastrophic end.
The TImes (1815) The TImes, Monday 2 Jan, 1815, London, UK
The Stamford Mercury (1815) Dissection of Joanna Southcott. Monday 2 Jan, 1815, UK.
Madden, Deborah (2016) Prophecy in the Age of Revolution. Prophecy and Eschatology in the Transatlantic World, 1550 - 1800 (pp.259-281), University of Brighton, UK.
Cross, George (1915) Millenarianism in Christian History. The Biblical World, Jul., 1915, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Jul., 1915), pp. 3-8. The University of Chicago Press, USA.
Lockley, Philip (2012) Visionary Religion and Radicalism in Early Industrial England: From Southcott to Socialism. Oxford University Press, UK
Southcott, Joanna (1792) The Strange Effects of Faith: With Remarkable Prophecies. T. Brice, Exeter, UK.
Southcott, Joanna (1814) The Third Book of Wonders: Announcing the Coming of Shiloh. Exeter, UK.
Shaw, Jane (2012) Octavia, Daughter of God. Vintage Books, UK.
Price, Harry (1933) Leaves From a Psychist’s Case-Book. Victor Gollancz Ltd, UK


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The Dark Histories Butterfly was drawn by Courtney, who you can find on Instagram @bewildereye

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.