Sir A. Conan Doyle And His Son

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Sir A. Conan Doyle And His Son is an article published in the Evening News on 30 october 1918, including a part of an interview with Arthur Conan Doyle.


Sir A. Conan Doyle And His Son (Daily Mail)

Daily Mail (31 october 1918, p. 3)


The following remarkable interview appeared in yesterday's London Evening News:—

On the day that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's young and brilliant son died in St, Thomas's Hospital, Sir Arthur himself was speaking in the country on Spiritualism and the theme that there is no death, but only a passing beyond a veil.

It was on this theme that I saw Sir Arthur to-day. He was reluctant to talk about it because, he said, sad experience had taught him that it was not easy to get the subject discussed with reverence; and it is, he added, one that must be discussed with reverence when men are dying in battle and the hearts of their survivors are pining for some revelation that the link is net broken.

"We have that revelation," said Sir Arthur "I have been on this quest for thirty years, and I say that we have the revelation and we must carry it throughout the country as the new religion.

"It is the greatest revelation for two thousand years. Religion has hopelessly broken down — I mean by that formal religion. Lutheranism has given us these Prussian devils on the one hand, and on the other Roman Catholicism has given us the Bavarian.

"It may fairly be asked by the formal religionists: 'Yes, but if a man throws aside his religion and becomes a devil, what then?' I say that it is the religion which must take up the man, not the man the religion. It must so seize him that he is unable to throw it aside and act devilishly. The Prussian who puts on a military belt with the motto 'Gott mit uns' imagines he has something there: and there is nothing.

"We must add to religion — we must add something now that the war has shown us the breakdown of formal religion, when millions of men and women are looking as they never have done before for a sign and a consolation.


"Some time ago I said I knew of thirteen mothers — thirteen — who were receiving direct messages from sons who had passed away. Doubt was expressed — gentle doubt — by a newspaper, which asked, 'Who are the mothers? What are their names?' Well, I know thirty mothers now who are receiving these messages.

"I have had a letter from a British Corps Commander who lost his son, assuring me that they are in communication. Here you have a warrior, a responsible, hard-fighting, level-headed British soldier — not the long-haired visionary, the caricature, who stands in the mind of flippant, uninformed people as the type of Spiritualist.

"I have addressed many meetings in the country, and I am addressing more; and we shall have the Albert Hall for London audiences later on. It might be as well for me to say, in passing, that I take no fees and make no money profit out of these meetings.

"I find the most intense earnestness everywhere among the audiences, and at Nottingham last night, for instance, more people were outside the hall, unable to find room, than were inside. To me 'The New Revelation' is beyond question. My book under that title has been published only a few months, yet this new religion has made great bounds forward. And we shall bring the proof to millions of people."

There was a personal matter, at his own son, who had died. Sir Arthur said he was informed of it as he was going to his Nottingham meeting yesterday. It was a severe trial and test.

The relation between belief and the particular personal loss could not be discussed. But Sir Arthur, speaking at this hour, did say, for the comfort of others: "A mother, a father, firm in the new revelation, knows that the one who departed is no farther away than you who sit in a chair a yard away."