what is the true meaning of "Lyceum schools" in this context?

Considering these four points, then, is it not a feasible hypothesis that the power which controlled Davis was actually Swedenborg? It would be well if the estimable but very narrow and limited New Church took such possibilities into account. But whether Davis stood alone, or whether he was the reflection of one greater than himself, the fact remains that he was a miracle man, the inspired, learned, uneducated apostle of the new dispensation. So permanent has been his influence that the well-known artist and critic Mr. E. Wake Cook, in his remarkable book "Retrogression in Art,"* harks back to Davis's teaching as the one modern influence which could recast the world. Davis left his mark deep upon Spiritualism. "Summerland," for example, as a name for the modern Paradise, and the whole system of Lyceum schools with their ingenious organization, are of his devising. As Mr. Baseden Butt has remarked, "Even to-day the full and final extent of his influence is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to assess

  • 2
    Please don't paste text without also telling us the source of the text.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 16:27

2 Answers 2


According to Concise English Dictionary
a school for students intermediate between elementary school and college; usually grades 9 to 12

For more information, you can also see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyceum, because it varies among countries.


There is no information in the text to decide this.

However the source is Conan Doyle, and "Davis" is the American spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis. Therefore "Lyceum" is the network of public education organisations for adults in the Northeast and Midwest of the USA in the 1800s that Davis and other spiritualists attended (although Doyle is wrong to suggest the system of Lyceums was devised by Davis, as the first were founded in 1826 when Davis was a baby)

This is why you need to give a clear source. With the knowledge of who the author and subject are, it is not difficult for you to research on Wikipedia (or similar) for this kind of information. It is not knowledge that a typical native speaker would know.

  • maybe Doyle is right. because: They flourished in the mid-19th century, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Some of these organisations lasted until the early 20th century. see Wikipedia.
    – solesoul
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 22:12

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