The Grand Theme (and other news)


It has been a busy few months in the publishing office and bookshop. Blake’s London by Iain Sinclair (2011) continues to be our bestseller in the shop, and its success has also encouraged trade sales; this little book is now available to buy at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern bookshops, as well as from independent bookshops across London. Our new DVD documentary, Heaven, Hell and Other Places: a Film about Emanuel Swedenborg (2012), has also proved popular, and we’ve sold many copies, both in the shop and online.

grand theme IIWe are now preparing to launch Swimming to Heaven: The Lost Rivers of London by Iain Sinclair, the second volume in the celebrated Swedenborg Archive series. In this essay, the writer follows the path of the ‘lost’ rivers of London and examines their influence on the visionary literature of the capital. We will be launching this book with a very special event at the end of July, (involving film, talks and wine!) Details are yet to be confirmed, but we will let you know as soon as we have set a date and a time.

The Grand Theme (2013), a new book of essays from our president, Anders Hallengren, will also appear soon. This is a dazzling collection, constantly moving between historical narrative, storytelling and philosophical insight. In his own unique style, Anders reveals the presence of Swedenborg throughout a highly poetic history of ideas, literature and music. We will be launching this publication at the Society’s Annual General Meeting on 27 June 2013. The author will be present to sign copies, which will be available to buy at a discounted price.

Another landmark publication for this summer will be Philosophy, Literature & Mysticism: An Anthology of Essays on the Thought and Influence of Emanuel Swedenborg (2013). This major new edition contains key articles on Swedenborg in relation to Kant, Schopenhauer, Dostoyesky, Baudelaire, Balzac, Emerson, Walt Whitman, C J Jung, Coleridge, amongst others.We hope this rich collection of essays will introduce a wider audience, both popular and academic, to the defining ideas of Swedenborg and their cultural significance. The launch date for this book is to be confirmed, so please keep an eye on our website for updates (

Meanwhile, it is with great sadness that we have said goodbye to Diane Lewin, who has volunteered in the Society’s bookshop for the past two years. Diane has proven to be invaluable in many areas of the Society’s activities: talking to customers, packing book orders, sending countless invitations to events, logging all entries to the Short Film Festival, attempting to tidy my desk and negotiating with the idiosyncrasies of the stock room – and of the Society in general! Diane will be hugely missed by staff and visitors at Swedenborg House, when she moves back to Manchester with her husband, Alan Lewin who is also a trustee of the Society. We thank them both for their vital contribution to our activities, and wish them the best of luck for the future. Diane has written a lovely ‘farewell blog’, which can be read here. Read more about volunteering at the Society here.

To keep up to date with books, events and other news from the Society, I recommend that you follow our blog, or sign up to the mailing list (via The Society is also on Facebook (Swedenborg Soc) and Twitter (@Swedsoc).

Nora Foster
Publicist, The Swedenborg Society


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