O Consolador
Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita 



Allan Kardec
1804 - 1869

Kardec was born in Lyon, on October 3rd 1804 and died in Paris, on March 31st 1869. Many things have been written about his personality, including many biographies about his missionary accomplishments.

Allan Kardec and his life were well known before the date of 18th of April 1857, when the Spirit’s Book was published, which started the process of the Spiritist Codification. In this summary of his biography, we will give you some information about his unique personality, some of those already generally known.

His real name was Hippolyte-Léon-Denizard Rivail. He was known as “Hippolyte” by his family, “Professor Rivail” by the society and as "H-L-D Rivail" in his literature. Since 18 years old, he was a Science and Literature teacher, and from 20 years of age, known as author of didactic books. His spiritist books were written with the pseudonym of Allan Kardec. Kardec stood out in his profession of which he was educated in Switzerland. He was educated in the school of one of the world’s best known teachers from the beginning of the XIX century and still renowned Master: Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Later on in Paris, he succeed Pestalozzi.  

Allan Kardec was 51 when he dedicated himself to the observation and research of spirits phenomena without the natural enthusiasm of people that are immature and  inexperienced. His own reputation of a cult man was an obstacle for some people who were against Spiritism. Two years later, in 1857, he published The Spirit’s Books. In 1858, the publication of the famous Spiritist Magazines started and in 1861, Kardec published The Medium’s Book. In 1864 The Gospel according to Spiritism was published, followed by Heaven and Hell in 1865. Finally, in 1868, Genesis completed the basis of Spiritism.

In charge of the codification of Spiritism, Allan Kardec counted on three girls who were the main mediums of The Spirit’s Book: Caroline Baudin, Julie Baudin and Ruth Celine Japhet. The first two were used as a connection of the essence of the spiritists teachings and the last one was used for complementary clarification. After finishing the book containing all the studies, by the spirits suggestion Kardec used other mediums not known by the first group. Between the mediums were Japhet and Roustan, intuitive medium; Mrs. Canu, unconscious sleepwalker; Mr. Canu, medium of incorporation; Mrs. Leclerc, medium of psychograph; Mrs. Clement, medium of incorporation and psychograph; Mrs. De Pleinemaison, medium of inspiration; Mr. Roger, clairvoyant; and finally Mrs. Aline Carlotti, medium of psychograph and incorporation. 

Writing about the personality of Professor Rivail, Dr. Silvino Canuto Abreu affirmed: “Of more culture than the average man from his age and time, he inspired respect from others since he was young. With a temperament not inclined to fantasy, without poetic or romantic instinct, he was totally dedicated to the method, to the order and to the mental discipline. He practiced, with written or spoken words, the precision, the sharpness, the simplicity inside the pureness, avoiding redundancies. Short, 1.65m of height, and presenting delicate structure, although healthy and resilient, Professor Rivail had a pale and sagging face and freckled skin with many lines. He had long and wide face with thick brown eyebrows, straight grey hair with almost none on the back of his head. His hair was parted from the left to the right. He also had a long grey beard which covered his neck and chin. His eyes were small and deep with black bags under them. His nose was big, with flared nostrils. His moustache was almost all white covering a hairy mole. He had a serious look when he was studying or magnetizing, but full of charming life when teaching or lecturing. The most impressive part of him was the weird and mysterious look, charming because of the sweetness of his pupils and severe as he penetrated the listener’s soul. He looked at the listener and his eyes wouldn’t move around unless he was meditating by himself. The most characteristic of his personality was his voice, clear and firm, pleasant and fluent which could switch from soft to an explosion of eloquence. His gestures were sober and polite. When he listened to someone, he put his right thumb up between two buttons of his waistcoat, not to show impatience, but the opposite, to convince of his tolerance and attention. Talking to disciples or close friends, he put sometimes his right hand on the person’s shoulder in a friendly gesture. He maintained rigorous social etiquette when around ladies.”

Because of his deep and unlimited love to the goodness and the truth, Allan Kardec built to the whole eternity the biggest monument of wisdom that humanity could wish, resolving big mysteries of life, destiny and pain, by the rational thinking of multiple existences. Everything side by side with the primary principles of Christianity.

Son of Catholic parents, Allan Kardec was raised in the Protestantism, but he didn’t follow those religions, preferring to stay in the position of the free thinker and man of analysis. The strictness of dogma disturbed him, which kept him away from the religious concepts. The excessive symbolism of theologies and orthodoxies, turned him incompatible with the principles of a blind and irrational faith. In this position, he faced a life of an intellectual man, prudent, someone of good character and deep knowledge used to examine the phenomena of “table-turning”. At this time, the world was curious about the various psychic facts that happened everywhere. Later on, these facts turned into the Doctrine of consolation that was called Spiritism having as its founder the Professor of Lyon.

Spiritism isn’t men’s creation, in fact, it’s a divine revelation for Humanity to defend the principles left from Jesus, which arrived in a time when materialism gathered together many great intellectual men from Europe and America. The first Spiritist society was founded by Allan Kardec, in Paris, on the 1st of April 1858. It was called “Parisian Society of Spiritist Studies”. To this society, he dedicated himself in order to make it achieve the noble goals it was created for.  

Allan Kardec was invulnerable to the possibility of writing under the influence of partial concepts. A man of rational character and very strict, he observed the facts and from these observations he understood the rules behind them.

The codification of the Spiritist Doctrine put Allan Kardec in the gallery of the biggest missionaries and helpers of Humanity. His achievements are as extraordinary as the French Revolution. The French Revolution set man’s rights within the society, the Spiritist Doctrine set the connection between man and the universe including complex subjects such as death, which hadn’t been resolved by religions before then. Kardec’s mission, as said before by the Spirit of Truth, was hard and dangerous, because it wasn’t only about codification, but mainly about shaking and transforming Human kind. His mission was so tough that, in a note of 1st of January 1867, Kardec referred to his friends ingratitude, to hate from enemies, to calumny and lies from extremists. However, he didn’t fail in his mission.


Londres (Reino Unido)




O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita