anniversary of passng of Conan Doyle

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anniversary of passng of Conan Doyle

Post by pricel on Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:47 pm

Conan Doyle anniversary

This Wednesday, we mark 70 years since the passing of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on 7 July 1930. One of his last acts was to lead a delegation to the Home Office [the equivalent of a Justice Ministry] in London, calling for the legal protection of mediumship, which was then against the law in England..

Much could be said about Sir Arthur – readers may like to share their thoughts - but here are five points to ponder.

1) Although he announced his acceptance of Spiritualism in 1916, he had been investigating since the 1880s, and not just through books, but also in home circles. There was nothing precipitate about his decision.
2) Even in the 1890s, he privately gave the equivalent of £300,000 to sustain the weekly Spiritualist newspaper LIGHT. The immense success of Sherlock Homes had indeed made him wealthy, but his generosity is still an example to everyone.
3) He took the pioneers very seriously, and spent two years working on his monumental “History of Spiritualism”. Today, history is greatly neglected in the Movement, even by some senior office holders.
4) He had sorrow in his life. His father was mentally unstable; his first wife suffered a long fatal illness- TB. His eldest son Kingsley predeceased him.
His later beliefs brought him much opposition.

5) Had he lived today, his heart trouble would have been treatable. What mighthe have achieved in another ten years!


pricel


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Re: anniversary of passng of Conan Doyle

Post by Lis on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:27 pm

You make some very interesting points Pricel.

I note you say that ACD's involvement with Spiritualism began in the 1880s. I am aware that in so many pieces on him on the internet seem to place his interest as commencing much later than that, and often feel frustrated at the many errors in what are claimed to be reviews of the history of those who explored Spiritualism or who became, as ACD did, promoters and ambassadors for the Spiritualist movement.

While working on other topics recently I have been collecting newspaper articles on ACDs visit to Australia and New Zealand in 1920/1921, and it is interesting to note both his reason for making the trip and the sometimes less than flattering view he apparently had of Australian Spiritualists!

I am intrigued to learn that he donated money to keep LIGHT going in the 1890s, this would seem to be information not generally known and so useful to be made aware of. I have read ACDs 'History of Spiritualism' and can appreciate the effort involved in writing it, though I do think there are perhaps a few errors contained in it, or perhaps a more positive interpretation of certain mediums or phenomena associated with them, than was warranted.

That he would have lived longer had his heart trouble been treated as it can be today is a saddening piece of information. I am sure that he would have made many more valuable contributions had he lived longer.

Lis
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Re: anniversary of passng of Conan Doyle

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:45 pm

Thank you very much for that information and a great welcome to the forum
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Re: anniversary of passng of Conan Doyle

Post by pricel on Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:43 pm

Thank you Lis. I recommend "Conan Doyle the Man who Created Sherlock Holmes" by Andrew Lycett ( 2007)

Andrew Lycett is one of Britain’s leading biographers, with outstanding books on Rudyard Kipling, Dylan Thomas and Ian Fleming to his credit. Although Conan Doyle has had many biographers, Lycett is able to use for the first time some of the papers which have long been held back because of family litigation. He handles the psychic side of Doyle’s life in a fair manner, without the negative commitment of Daniel Stashower, for example. Lycett notes that in 1897 ACD though also actually an SPR member, gave £4250 over a seventeen month period to LIGHT, which is about £320,000 in present money values!

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