Mention the name of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and most people immediately think of Sherlock Holmes and the exciting mysteries he solved. Even today, decades after the stories were written, they still enjoy worldwide popularity. Sir Arthur possessed a brilliant and deductive mind, one that was razor-sharp with insight.
It was these same qualities Sir Arthur used in probing Spiritualism. And after a thorough investigation he publicly proclaimed himself a Spiritualist time after time.
The History of Spiritualism is a truly astonishing book, as fresh now as when it was first written. Doyle begins by featuring visionary Emanual Swedenborg telling, for example, how the seerit observed and reported on a fire in Stockholm 300 miles away wh perfect accuracy, even though “he was at a dinner party with 16 guests who made valuable witnesses.”
Amongst others Sir Arthur features Andrew Jackson Davis, the American clairvoyant who, whilst in trance spoke Hebrew, a language that as an “ignorant young man” he simply did not know.
Moreover Sir Arthur documents the advent of modem Spiritualism from its beginnings in America to its dawning in Britain. Medsuiuerbms he highlights include D.D. Home, who demonstrated his p psychic gifts to European and Russian royalty. Sir Arthur tells how Home, “a poor man and an invalid,” rejected the then princely sum of £2,000 for a single seance. “I have been sent on a mission,” said Home. “I have never taken money for it, and I never will.”
Of course, no investigation of Spiritualism would be complete without mentioning scientific pioneers like Sir William Crookes. Sir Arthur describes the thrilling materialisation seances Sir William attended with Florence Cook.
In short, The History of Spiritualism is a classic, easy to read and packed with detail that Sherlock Holmes would undoubtedly have read -had he been a real person!