Prize Distribution at Tunbridge Wells. Sir A. Conan Doyle's Visit

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Prize Distribution at Tunbridge Wells. Sir A. Conan Doyle's Visit is an article published in the Kent & Sussex Courier on 9 december 1927.

The article is a report of Arthur Conan Doyle participation and lecturing about literature at the annual prize distribution of the Technical Institute, on tuesday 6 decemeber 1927.

Lady Conan Doyle distributed the prizes.

Sir A. Conan Doyle's Visit

Kent & Sussex Courier (9 december 1927, p. 15)

Extracts concerning Conan Doyle

The Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells, was crowded to overflowing on Tuesday on the occasion of a visit from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for the annual prize distribution of the Technical Institute.



Sir Arthur Conan Doyle delivered an interesting address on literature and, in giving advice to literary aspirants, said that they must have knowledge themselves before they could impart it to others. That could be obtained either by experience of the world or by reading. They should read all they could come across and it was important for them to cultivate independence of judgment. They should stand on their own feet and form their own opinions.

Sir Arthur dealt at length with the merits and demerits of the writings of Shakespeare, Walter Scott, Boswell, Oliver Wendell Holmes and other authors.

Referring to the question of style, Sir Arthur said the young writers should avoid such a thing. The trouble with English literature during the last eighty years had been that critics had applied what was an evil thing, that was exaggerated style. Courses of concentrated reading on some particular field of human knowledge were useful and helped to broaden the mind as well as to increase one's personal knowledge.

Councillor Eb. Saunders, in the absence of Councillor H. T. Berwick, proposed a vote of thanks to Sir Arthur and Lady Conan Doyle, Councillor J. Maxwell seconded, and the vote of thanks was carried with applause.


Sir A. Conan Doyle, in responding, said that Councillor Maxwell had remarked that he had expected to hear a speech on a different subject and no doubt he was alluding to that psychic question to which he (Sir Arthur) was devoting his life. He would have dealt with it; it was a subject very near to his heart, bet he did not think it fair to inflict such an address upon an audience who knew nothing about the matter. But he could assure them that if a meeting should be called for that purpose he would consider it his duty to do all he could to open up the question.