Autograph manuscript (unsigned).
Autograph ist nicht mehr verfügbar
Rare manuscript, written entirely in Doyle's hand. At the head of the first sheet, it is entitled "General Outlines of first lecture". Doyle begins by discussing the fundamental import of the questions addressed by spiritualism in the western world: "This subject which we have met to consider is far the most important in the world. It is one which ultimately concerns the fate of every one of us. There is a certain natural impatience that so huge and engrossing a question should be raised at a time when so many mundane problems seek a solution, but there are two very good reasons for this / 1. Unless we get the spiritual lessons while still under the influence of war shock we may relapse into pre[-] war materialism. 2. These religious questions are at the base of all things, and no permanent reconstruction is possible until you get a permanent base. Therefore mundane problems really depend upon the spiritual ones. Let me say at once that I speak with all humility. It is true that I have studied the matter for 34 years, that I have had a wide personal experience of investigation and that I have some knowledge both of science and possibly of detection. But granted all that, I know how complex the matter is. I speak of my own experiences and my own conclusions and I give you my reasons for the faith - or I would rather say the knowledge - to which I have attained…I appeal to you would I not be a stock and a stone if I were not convinced of spirit return - if I not know it - and if I did not devote all that is in me to getting other people to know it. Look at what it means. See how the shadow of death thins away until it is no longer a dark cloud but rather a sun-tinted haze. It is a grand support for a man who is in danger [...]". Doyle cites several examples, including: "There is immensely interesting dialogue, which is reported a verbatim by a stenographer, between Dr. Hodgson after his death, and his friend & collaborator Hyslop, who has now joined him, but was then alive. Mrs. Piper was the medium. Hodgson was using her mechanism, and was speaking direct to Hyslop, giving reference after reference to things between them which were unknown to Mrs. Piper [...] talking of his death he said 'It is delightful to go through the cool ethereal atmosphere [...] [of] this life and shake off the mortal body [...] It is all so much better than I anticipated'. He recommended prayer as an expansion of the soul [...]". - With deletions and corrections in Doyle's hand. Doyle publicly announced his belief in spiritualism, which was strengthened by his son's wartime death in 1917. He expended a great deal of time and money to advance spiritualism - often lecturing as part of his efforts in this regard. This lecture manuscript offers fascinating and profound insight into Doyle's thoughts on the matter to which he was so devoted. - Age-toning, fold wear, and file hole at upper left of each page, otherwise very good. Accompanied by letter from James Lowe certifying authenticity of the manuscript.