From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Rachel Comforted (sub-titled: Conversations of a Mother in the Dark with her Child in the Light) is a book written by Mrs. Fred Maturin published in 1920 by Dodd, Mead & Co. and including a note written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
A Note by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I have been asked to write some words as a prelude to this beautiful book, but after reading the touching words of the mother and the weighty argument by the late Mr. W. T. Stead, I feel that any formal introduction by me would be a purposeless intrusion. I do not think that anyone who has a soul can read the mother's words without emotion, nor can a sane, balanced brain consider the arguments of Mr. Stead and fail to see that they are convincing. I know that Rachel, in gaining her own comfort, has also passed it on to many other sorrowing hearts, and brought conviction and consolation to many of the bereaved. Sceptics and unbelievers have admitted the deep effect produced upon them by the narrative. There are some who cry out at such a heaven as being too material. They must remember that in heaven also there is evolution, and that Sunny's "happy land" is but one resting-place on the upward journey. We grow towards complete spirituality, but we have all eternity ahead of us, and the process is a gradual one. Most of us will rejoice that we have our rest-cure in such an earth-like heaven, or heavenly earth, as Sunny describes, before we face conditions which would seem higher perhaps, but more difficult and unfamiliar. I would add as a word of caution that no Spiritualist believes in the literal verbal inspiration of every word in a message from the other side, for he is aware, if he knows his subject, that there are temporary causes which may make for inaccuracy or misunderstanding. Here, as always, the spirit is greater than the letter, but the letter also in the main will be found to bear every sign of consistency and truth.
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.
December 26, 1919.