Allan Kardec was the pen name of renowned French educator Hippolyte Léon Denizard Rivail, who codified Spiritism after studying a series of seemingly unexplained phenomena taking place in Paris during the 1850s.
Under the suggestion of his spiritual guides, he published the books we now know to comprise the beginning of Spiritism under a name from a previous incarnation to ensure the works would stand on their own merit, and not on that of his sizable academic credibility. This would also serve another purpose: to unequivocally establish that the ideas and concepts contained in the basic books of Spiritism were the work of the communicating spirits and not of Rivail himself — a point further made clear in the title of Spiritism’s first work, “The Spirits’ Book”.
To Rivail, however, was given the important task of acting as the editor-in-chief for the new body of knowledge that emerged. With diligence and dedication, Rivail gathered, analyzed, compared, and evaluated spiritual messages brought forth by different mediums, eventually compiling them into a coherent philosophy with far-reaching moral implications.