In his book Apparitions and Thought-Transference: An Examination of the Evidence for Telepathy (1895), Frank Podmore relates what might at first seem a humdrum occurrence of settling into bedtime reading. The diary he has transcribed, of a woman he calls D, records on January 6th, “Tried several books . . . finally took to ‘Villette.’” But D’s choice was not completely autonomous. She was clearly influenced by her friend, “X.” As Podmore wrote, “From Miss X's diary it appears that she willed D to read The Professor,” which he notes, portentously, was “also by Charlotte Brontë.” X got luckier – or honed her skills – a few weeks later, when D recorded “Sonnets by E.B.B. 10:30 p.m.” and “In Miss X's diary, written at about 10 p.m., appears the entry, ‘Sonnets viii-ix., E.B.B.’” Assessing the records, Podmore found X's influence over D's literary taste to be “presumably telepathic” (122–23). Although the phenomenon was sensational, the circumstances surrounding it were decidedly mundane, ranging from bedtime reading to hearing X's piano-playing at a distance of miles, and meeting specific people at certain times. At a second glance, the phenomenon remains humdrum. Gauri Viswanathan has described how the institutionalization of Theosophy created reality effects that routinized its mysticism, rendering it ordinary (7). Similarly, though psychical research studied the numinous, its institutions ensconced it in bureaucracy, making it mundane. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century in Britain, the oddly interesting-yet-boring phenomenon of thought-reading became a cultural activity that ranged between scientific research, domestic pastime, and popular entertainment. Could people read each other's minds? If so, how was it done? Thought-reading arose to compete with Spiritualism, the practice of contacting the dead through séances. Its most mysterious public persona, and one of the more intriguing historical figures of the period, was Podmore's aficionado of Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the presumed telepath known as Miss X.