Letter to Harry Price (10 september 1928)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

This letter was written by Arthur Conan Doyle on 10 september 1928 to Harry Price about spiritualism, Hartman and Brownell.


15, Buckingham Palace Mansions
10th September, 1928.


It does not make matters better that besides writing these false statements you have been uttering them in lectures to foreigners. Instead of trying to justify them in the Review you would have been better advised to have apologised and withdrawn them.

Hartman whom you quote is not a Doctor but a dentist, and is the one in the circle whom we suspected of being the confederate. None of the four of us, myself, my wife, my secretary or Mr. Steffanson took the proceedings seriously for a moment, and I gave my opinion of them at the time. I also wrote them in my book which was written up practically as a daily diary.

Mr. Brownell is, so far as I know, an honest man and I should like to know your authority for stating that he supported the false and malicious account published by Hartman. I had no speech with Brownell after the sitting but he wrote later to express his regret. Your own common sense should have told you that an experienced spiritualist does not show emotion in front of a very questionable materialisation.

You cannot expect to publish false and libelous statements about people and that they will receive them with patient acquiescence.

Yours faithfully,

A. Conan Doyle

It is impossible that you never mentioned my name in the lecture if you recounted the episodes as reported in the Revue.