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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Marriage Problems

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Marriage Problems is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in the Daily Mail on 16 January 1912.


Marriage Problems

Daily Mail (16 january 1912, p. 6)

To the Editor of The Daily Mail.

Sir, — I observe that your correspondent Mr. George E. Bell, in his lament over the assumed decay of the British race (an assumption which I believe to be entirely unwarranted), has given as one of the causes: "How about divorce scattering English hearths to the winds?"

Is Mr. Bell aware that the English divorce laws are the most conservative and, from a reformer's point of view, reactionary in Europe — far more so even than the divorce laws of Scotland.

I do not know whether Mr. Bell seriously contends that to hold together for the term of their lives a sane person and a hopeless idiot, an innocent person and a criminal suffering penal servitude, or a normal man or woman and a dipsomaniac partner, is a just proceeding and conducive to the best interests of society. Or does he think that to separate 100,000 of each sex, as has now been done, and to forbid them to marry anyone else is helpful to public morality? If he does not think so, then he should help to bring about reform. If he does think so, then he is only one more proof that theology and reason cannot go together.

Arthur Conan Doyle,
President Divorce Law Reform Union.
Windlesham, Crowborough.






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