Psychic Book Club Publishing
was inspired into existence by a unique
and historic publishing house named
'Psychic Book Club'
The original Psychic Book Club
was first incorporated in London
on January 15th 1938
and began trading in March of that year.
Medium and ‘Psychic News’ editor
wanted to see more affordable books
on the subjects of psychic phenomena, mediumship and Spiritualism
made available to the public.
Readers were invited to subscribe to
Psychic Book Club
for up to twelve months.
In return they would receive
a new book in the post each month
- either a reprinted classic
or a brand new title.
The first editions were written by some of the best exponents of mediumship, including;
Fleet Street journalist Frederick Hannen Swaffer, Spiritualism’s own Arthur Conan Doyle,
medium Estelle Roberts and prolific author and medium Geraldine Cummins...
As the popularity of these monthly editions continued to grow,
their diversity and authorship expanded to include works by
Harry Edwards, William T. Stead, Eileen J Garrett, Anthony Borgia,
Winifred Graham and White Eagle’s medium, Grace Cooke...
Worldwide distribution meant that location was no limitation to readers.
As global subscriptions increased, Psychic Book Club’s readership spread
to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Africa and the USA.
After war broke out across Europe in 1939
restrictions and rationing influenced
all aspects of life - and the publishing industry was equally affected.
The fires of the London Blitz
hit the publishing industry hard.
Yet Psychic Book Club was not defeated
and it continued to supply its readers
With paper imports at an all-time low, the UK government introduced a paper-saving strategy.
The new ‘War Economy Standard’ in book production meant that fewer books were produced.
Although content was unaffected, pages were thinner, hardbacks were reduced to paperbacks
and text on the page often ran from edge to edge.
Paper rationing finally came to an end in 1949
although some restrictions remained,
but by 1950 paper was again in great supply.
Psychic Book Club returned to the production
of larger print runs and larger books.
The next seven years saw additional authors joing Psychic Book Club
including: Arthur Ford, Horace Leaf, Alfred Russel Wallace,
Sir William Barrett - even Maurice Barbanell himself contributed to the authorship once more.
Indeed, 1950 to 1957 were prolific years for Psychic Book Club
and many of those editions can still be found for sale today.
For almost twenty years,
from 1938 to 1957,
Psychic Book Club successfully produced
more than 150 different titles,
purchased by readers all over the world.
The final publication to carry the Psychic Book Club name came by accident in 1960.
Another of Barbanell’s publishing ventures, Spiritualist Press,
published a paperback edition of William Naylor’s ‘Silver Birch Anthology’.
It was a direct copy of an earlier edition
and the name Psychic Book Club is clearly seen on the title page.