Letter to Harry Price (22 january 1926)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

This letter was written by Arthur Conan Doyle on 22 january 1926 to Harry Price about spiritualism, Mrs. Deane and Price's "Stella C. : An Account of Some Original Experiments in Psychical Research".


15 Buckingham Palace Mansions
22nd January, 1926.

Dear Sir,

I was sorry you were not in the audience last night for I hate to discuss a man behind his backs.

In the short part of my speech which was in your direction I said that I wished your venture every success but that any support must mean a cessation of false attacks upon mediums, as otherwise no medium or spiritualist could possibly support you.

I cited the present instance of your repetition in the A.S.P.R. Journal of the ancient and discredited story about Mrs. Deane. At the time I sent — as you surely know — all the heads of the athletes and cenotaph faces to Sir A. Keith who dealt with them anthoropormetrically [1] and gave a certificate that not one was the same. Why then should you broadcast this aspersion upon an innocent woman? We have condoned the Hope case but surely it should be a lesson against false accusations. I by no means agree either with your contemptuous reference to the Falconer boys. Their case is non-proven and some of their later results, one of which I showed the Company, are inexplicable.

Let me beg you to continue your excellent Stella C. work and leave the ignoble sport of medium-baiting. When a medium is suspect the way to approach it is to inform him or her of the charges and let him or her and friends have every opportunity of defence. Then after the charge is proved let us have publicity — not before.

Yours sincerely,

A. Conan Doyle

  1. (sic)