Kardec, Allan

BORN 3 Oct 1804, Lyon - DIED 31 Mar 1869, Paris
BIRTH NAME Rivail, Hippolyte Léon Denizard
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 44, ligne 01)

Allan Kardec, 'father of spiritism', was born as H.L.D. Ravail. He studied under the Swiss educator Pestalozzi and became one of his collaborators. After he returned to France he started a school that followed Pestalozzi's teachings. He spoke several languages and published on scientific subjects. Between 1835 and 1840 he organized free classes at his home.

In 1854 he received information on mysterious rappings, then a subject that interested many scientists in Europe and America. He started his own research and published "The Spirits' Book" in 1857, using the name Allan Kardec to keep this publication apart from his educational writings. Allan as well as Kardec were said to have been his names in previous incarnations. The book was based on trance communications. The book was very successful and many editions were published all over the world. In 1864 it was followed by "Le Livre des Mediums".

Kardec founded the Spiritist Society of Paris and edited the journal "La Revue Spirite" until his death in 1869. He had the intention of turning spiritualism into a great religion. In Brazil his movement had many followers and spiritualist temples were built.

He was buried at the Montmartre Cemetery, but in 1870 his remains were moved to Père Lachaise. In 1989 a bomb exploded there, but it failed to blow up his grave.


The grave of Allan Kardec at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (19 Nov 2006)


• Reeth, Adelaïde van & Guido Peeters, Herinneringen in Steen, De Haan/Unieboek, Houten, 1988

Karl, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Teschen

Published: 22 Apr 2007
Last update: 26 Jan 2022