Lyttelton, Edith (ca. 1865-1948)

views updated

Lyttelton, Edith (ca. 1865-1948)

Author, playwright, psychic, and past president of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), London. A daughter of Arthur Balfour, she was educated privately and married in 1892. In a well-to-do position, she served in a number of social and charitable roles. She was a member of the Joint Council of the Vic-Wells and National Theatre and a governor of Stratford Memorial Theatre. During World War I she served on the War Refugees Committee and was deputy director of the Women's Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture (1917-19). She was British Substitute Delegate to the League of Nations Assembly at Geneva (1923-31) and appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1917). She received the Dame Grand Cross (1929).

In 1902 she joined the Society for Psychical Research, and from 1928 onward was a member of the council. In 1913, soon after her husband's death, she experimented with automatic writing and received predictions of the outbreak of World War I. Her scripts predicted the sinking of the liner Lusitania in 1915, and offered additional predictions that seemed to refer to World War II. Her presidential address to the SPR was published in the society's Proceedings (Vol. 41, part 132, 1933) and she wrote several books including Some Cases of Prediction (1937). She died September 2, 1948.


Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York: Paragon House, 1991.

Lyttelton, Edith. The Faculty of Communion. N.p., 1925.

. Our Superconscious Mind. London, 1931.

. Some Cases of Prediction. London: Bell, 1938.

Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. New York: Helix Press, 1964.