Hilary Grimes 1
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  • 1 University of Glasgow
Power in Flux
Mesmerism, Mesmeric Manuals and Du Maurier‘s Trilby
in Gothic Studies
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Most critical works on Trilby (1894) have suggested that Svengali has complete mesmeric power over Trilby. Using the example of Trilby, as well as examining the mesmeric manuals and hypnotic manuals published in the nineteenth century, this article will demonstrate that mesmerism is a far more dynamic process than has been recognised in the past, and that the mesmeric process does not consist simply of a powerful mesmerist and a powerless subject, but rather describes a merging and blurring of the identities and powers of both mesmeriser and mesmerised so that who is mesmerising who is never really clear.

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