Divorce and Separation (8 september 1917)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Divorce and Separation is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Times on 8 september 1917.

Divorce and Separation

The Times (8 september 1917)


Sir, — Dr. Johnson has said that the most vexatious of controversialists is the man who on being told that there is no fruit in the orchard proves that there are actually tire apples. Professor Whitney contradicts my statement that we have the least liberal divorce laws in the world, and states that, there is no divorce in Italy or in certain Roman Catholic provinces, and that in Austria it only applies to non-Catholics. It is notorious that divorce is against the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, and that in legislatures which are predominantly Roman Catholic there are no facilities for divorce. My point, however, remains untouched. which is that Lord Halifax has implied that no truly Christian nation could have those more liberal divorce laws for which we are agitating, and that lie therefore rules out from true Christianity all the nations of the world, with the insignificant exceptions mentioned by Professor Whitney. This seems to me to be the height of spiritual arrogance. Putting Italy to one side, would Professor Whitney seriously put forward the examples of Austria and of French Canada as those which Great Britain, the mother of liberty and progress, should choose as her models?

Yours faithfully,

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE (President of the Divorce Law Reform Union)
Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex, Sept. 6.

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