Figuier, Louis (Guillaume) (1819–1894)
French chemist and writer on occult subjects. He was born
at Montpellier, France, in 1819, where his uncle Pierre Figuier
was professor of chemistry at the School of Pharmacy. Louis,
having taken his doctorate in medicine and having completed
his postgraduate study in chemistry at the laboratory of Balard
in Paris, was made professor of chemistry at the same school in
his hometown. In 1853 he exchanged this post for a similar one
in the School of Pharmacy of Paris. Many honorary degrees in
science and medicine were conferred upon him by various faculties
during his career.
In 1857 he left teaching and devoted himself to writing, specializing
in the popularizing of science, mainly physiology and
medical chemistry. He published many notable works and was
equally distinguished for his prodigious output and literary
quality. Those works having a bearing on occult matters include
Le Lendemain de la mort, ou La Vie future selon la science
(1872, dealing with the transmigration of souls), L’ Alchimie et
les Alchimistes (1860), Histoire du merveilleux dans les temps modernes
(1860–74), and Les Bonheurs d’ outre tombe (1892). In 1889
he published a volume of dramas and comedies, La Science au
Thèatre. Figuier’s four-volume Histoire du merveilleux was a welldocumented
study of the Jansenist convulsionaires, the religious
revival of the Cevennes, the divining rod, animal magnetism,
table turning, mediums, and spirits. He died in Paris in 1894.
Figuier, Louis. The Day After Death, or, Our Future Life, According
to Science. London R. Bentley, 1874.