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From India to the Planet Mars

by Théodore Flournoy; tr. Daniel B. Vermilye


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This is a skeptical inquiry into a remarkable 19th century French medium, here called Hélène Smith. Her actual name was Catherine-Elise Muller (b. 1861 d. 1929). She popularized the concept of automatic writing, which earned her admiration from the latter-day Surrealists. And her interplanetary psychic visions are extremely similar to contactee accounts from the 1950s and 1960s.

Hélène, at the hands of her bossy and controlling sprit guide 'Leopold,' visited remote times and places, particularly 15th century India (where she was a doomed princess), and 18th century France (where she was Marie Antoinette), and of greatest interest, Mars. This book documents the Martian language and writing, includes hand-drawn illustrations of scenes, and mysterious vignettes of life on another planet. Included are over forty short texts in 'Martian,' with translations in French (interlinear) and English.

Flournoy's book brought Hélène fame, and the book is still in print over a hundred years later. However, she was not appreciative of his critical approach, and refused to work with him any further after the book was published.

Title Page
Translator's Preface
Chapter I. Introduction
Chapter II. Childhood and Youth of Mlle. Smith
Chapter III. Mlle. Smith Since Her Initiation Into Spiritism
Chapter IV. The Personality of Leopold
Chapter V. The Martian Cycle
Chapter VI. The Martian Cycle (Continued)—The Martian Language
Chapter VII. The Martian Cycle (Concluded).—The Ultra-Martian
Chapter VIII. The Hindoo Cycle
Chapter IX. The Royal Cycle
Chapter X. Supernormal Appearances
Chapter XI. Conclusion