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THE BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF PARAPSYCHOLOGY

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

Author, spiritualist leader, member Society for Psychical Research, London, 1894-1930. B. May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, Scotland; d. July 7, 1930, Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex, England. Attended Hodder School; Stonyhurst College, Lancashire; studied in Germany; M.B.; 1881, M.D. 1885, Royl Infirmary, Edinburgh University. M. 1885, Louise Hawkins (d. 1906): 1 d., 1 s.; m. 1907, Jean Leckie: 1 d., 2 s. Practiced medince 1882-90; senior physician, South African feild hospital, Boer War.

Doyle's first "Sherlock Holmes" story (A Study in Scarlet) was published in 1887; the immediate success of his fictional dectective plus wide popularity of his historical novels 9 (Micah Clarke, 1888; The White Company, 1890) caused him to leave medicine for a writing career. In 1902 he was knighted for his writings in defense of the British cause in the Boer War. He was fully converted to spiritualism, in which he had long been interested, when his son Kingsley died of pneumonia following wounds suffered in World War I. He devoted much of the fortune which his novels brought him to evangelizing in the spiritualist cause in Europe, the United States and Australia.

Doyle took part in scores of seances in which he said he had communicated with the spirits of Cecil Rhodes, Earl Haig, Joseph Conrad and other. For many years he financed a "psychic bookshop" and spiritualist museum in London. he resigned from the SPR a few months before his death in protest against an article in the Society's Journal criticizing the Italian medium Millesimo. Lady Doyle and their son Adrian expressed the belief they received communications from Sir Arthur after his death. Of his 60 books, ten concerned spiritualism, including The Vital Message (1920); Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921); a two-volume History of Spiritualism (1926); On the Edge of the Unknown (1930). See autobiography, Memories and Adventures (1924).

Taken from Helene Pleasants (1964) Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology with Directory and Glossary 1946-1996 NY: Garrett Publications


 
 

 

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