Originally published in 1968 The Founders of Psychical Research is centred upon the lives and work of Henry Sidgwick, Edmund Gurney and Frederic Myers - prominent in the Society for Psychical Research (S.P.R) - during its early years: it is not a history of the Society. It passes over important aspects of the S.P.R.'s story and deals at some length with matters quite outside it. The book frequently gives accounts of 'paranormal' phenomena which if indeed they occurred, would not be explainable through any recognisable hypothesis, but are treated throughout as unexplained.
Part I: The Origins and Founders of Psychical Research
1. The Rise of Modern Spiritualism in America 1848-55
2. Spiritualism in England 1852-76
4. Early Investigations of the Sidgwick Group 1873-5
5. The Foundation of the Society for Psychical Research 1882
Part II: The Work of the Early Psychical Researchers
6. Edmund Gurney and Phantasms of the Living
7. Phantasms of the Dead
9. The Mental Mediums
10. Myer's Theory of the Subliminal Self
11. Myer's Cosmology and Theory of the Soul
12. The Turn of the Century
Appendix A: Early Experiments on Thought-transference Published by the S.P.R.
Appendix B: Critics of Mrs. Piper
Appendix C: Correspondence between Myers and Lord Acton on the Canons of Evidence to be Applied to Reports of 'Miraculous' Occurrences