Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail – the French educator, translator and author, was born in 3 October 1804 and died in 31 March 1869.
Son of an honorable family, he was sent to study at the the Institution of Pestallozzi, in Switzerland. Back in France he devoted himself to the work of teaching, writing pedagogical books, translating, etc. He was always a member of several learned societies, and that is an indication of the variety of his knowledge, his practical mind activity, and his constant endeavour to be useful to his fellowmen.
Witnessing the phenomenon of “table-turning” and other which were exciting the attention of Europe and America, he was skeptic at first. However, he soon divised the real nature of those phenomena, the intelligent causes behind them which unite the corporeal and spiritual worlds. He started a careful investigation, and two years later he had his ideas and convictions changed by the conversations with the invisible.
Kardec had compiled thousands of questions and the answers given by the spirits through several mediums in Europe and North America, about the nature and mechanisms of spirit communications, the reasons for human life on earth, life in the spirit realm, reincarnation, among other philosophical and scientific subjects.
Kardec had in hands instructions that constituted, by his own words, “an entirely new theory of human life, duty, and destiny, that appears to me to be perfectly rational and coherent, admirably lucid and consoling, and intensely interesting. Those became the basis for the Spiritist Codification published under the pen name Allan Kardec:
- The Spirits’ Book, (1857).
- The Medium’s Book (1861)
- The Gospel According to Spiritism (1864)
- Heaven and Hell (1865)
- The Genesis (1868).
Until his death in 1869, Kardec also published the periodical The Spiritist Review, among other works of no lesser value.