Letter to Edward L. Gardner about Fairies

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

This letter was written by Arthur Conan Doyle on 21 october 1920 from Melbourne, Australia, to Edward L. Gardner. Conan Doyle published the letter in his book The Coming of the Fairies in september 1922.


October 21, 1920.

Dear Gardner,

My heart was gladdened when out here in far Australia I had your note and the three wonderful prints which are confirmatory of our published results. You and I needed no confirmation, but the whole line of thought will be so novel to the ordinary busy man who has not followed psychic inquiry, that he will need that it be repeated again and yet again before he realizes that this new order of life is really established and has to be taken into serious account, just as the pigmies of Central Africa.

I felt guilty when I laid a delay-action mine and left the country, leaving you to face the consequences of the explosion. You knew, however, that it was unavoidable. I rejoice now that you should have this complete shield against those attacks which will very likely take the form of a clamour for further pictures, unaware that such pictures actually exist.

The matter does not bear directly upon the more vital question of our own fate and that of those we have lost, which has brought me out here. But anything which extends man's mental horizon, and proves to him that matter as we have known it is not really the limit of our universe, must have a good effect in breaking down materialism and leading human thought to a broader and more spiritual level.

It almost seems to me that those wise entities who are conducting this campaign from the other side, and using some of us as humble instruments have recoiled before that sullen stupidity against which Goethe said the Gods themselves fight in vain, and have opened up an entirely new line of advance, which will turn that so-called "religious," and essentially irreligious, position, which has helped to bar our way. They can't destroy fairies by antediluvian texts, and when once fairies are admitted other psychic phenomena will find a more ready acceptance.

Goodbye, my dear Gardner, I am proud to have been associated with you in this epoch-making incident. We have had continued messages at seances for some time that a visible sign was coming through — and perhaps this was what is meant. The human race does not deserve fresh evidence, since it has not troubled, as a rule, to examine that which already exists. However, our friends beyond are very long-suffering and more charitable than I, for I will confess that my soul is filled with a cold contempt for the muddle-headed indifference and the moral cowardice which I see around me.

Yours sincerely,