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The History of Spiritualism (Complete) [Paperback]

Arthur Conan Doyle
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £11.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Nov 2006
This is one of the most extended of Conan Doyle's works advocating Spiritualism, to which he became a convert after the death of several relatives in World War I.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Echo Library (1 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406823066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406823066
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859 and died in 1930. Within those years was crowded a variety of activity and creative work that made him an international figure and inspired the French to give him the epithet 'the good giant'. He was the nephew of 'Dickie Doyle' the artist, and was educated at Stonyhurst, and later studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where the methods of diagnosis of one of the professors provided the idea for the methods of deduction used by Sherlock Holmes.

He set up as a doctor at Southsea and it was while waiting for patients that he began to write. His growing success as an author enabled him to give up his practice and turn his attention to other subjects. He was a passionate advocate of many causes, ranging from divorce law reform and the Channel Tunnel to the issuing of inflatable life-jackets to sailors. He also campaigned to prove the innocence of individuals, and his work on the Edjalji case was instrumental in the introduction of the Court of Criminal Appeal. He was a volunteer physician in the Boer War and later in life became a convert to spiritualism.

His greatest achievement was, of course, his creation of Sherlock Holmes, who soon attained international status and constantly distracted him from his other work; at one time Conan Doyle killed him but was obliged by public protest to restore him to life. And in his creation of Dr Watson, Holmes's companion in adventure and chronicler, Conan Doyle produced not only a perfect foil for Holmes but also one of the most famous narrators in fiction. Penguin publish all the books about the great detective, A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, His Last Bow, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, The Uncollected Sherlock Holmes and The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes.


Product Description

Book Description

This two-volume history was published in 1926 by the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), who, like many of his contemporaries, was fascinated by spiritualism. Volume 2 focuses on celebrated mediums from 1870 to World War I, and topics including 'ectoplasm' and 'spirit photography'. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

The life of Arthur Conan Doyle illustrates the excitement and diversity of the Victorian age unlike that of any other single figure of the period. At different points in his life he was a surgeon on a whaling ship; a GP; an apprentice eye-surgeon; an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate (twice); a multi-talented sportsman; one of the inventors of cross-country skiing in Switzerland; a formidable public speaker; a campaigner against miscarriages of justice; a military strategist; a writer in a range of forms; and the head of an extraordinary family. In his autobiography, he wrote: 'I have had a life which, for variety and romance, could, I think, hardly be exceeded.' He was not wrong. But Conan Doyle was also a Victorian with a twist, a man of tensions and contradictions. He was fascinated by travel, exploration, and invention, indeed all things modern and technological; yet at the same time he was also very traditional, voicing support for values such as chivalry, duty, constancy, and honour. By the time of his death in July 1930 he was a celebrity, achieving worldwide fame and notoriety for his creation of the rationalist, scientific super-detective Sherlock Holmes; yet at the same time his later decades were taken up with his advocacy of the new religion of Spiritualism, in which he was a devoted believer. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent history - but overtly biased 13 Feb 2006
Format:Paperback
For anyone who wants to know about the history of the Spiritualist movement from its beginnings to the 1920s this book is to be highly recommended.

It is beautifully written, as one would expect of anything coming from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's superb literary pen, but it is far from critical; on the contrary it is unashamedly partisan. While there can be no doubt of Sir Arthur's skill in presenting his case, his apologia is unlikely to carry conviction with anyone who is not already a convinced Spiritualist. If, however, I were in court to answer a charge of serious fraud, I would think myself lucky to have someone of Sir Arthur's brilliance speaking in my defence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spiritualist's Classic 3 Oct 2010
By Avatar
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Written in the inimitable style of Arthur Conan Doyle, this book is a classic in it's field. Covering the formative years of modern Spiritualism, it reminds us of the great bravery and courage of its pioneers. The detail and scholarly workmanship that Doyle provides makes this a must book for any person interested in the history of Modern Spiritualism. Well recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a most interesting book laid out in a factual and comprehensive manner by one of the UK's most outstanding and respected authors and researchers of the last century. Conan Doyle did not simply accept Spiritualism when it came into being, he undertook much investigation before allowing himself to be convinced of the facts which he willing publishes for the public to assess in their own way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked classic 6 July 2011
By Bonzi
Format:Paperback
You'll note that this is the only book Doyle wrote which a major publishing company has not printed. There is a reason for this, which sadly serves as the footnote to the book.
The focus of Doyle's life, especially his latter years, was the promotion and defense of spiritualism as a movement under the mantle of the "St. Paul of spiritualism". Even his published letters brushed his involvement with spiritualism to one side somewhat, and it is quite patently something a lot of his fans (stephen fry notably) have a hard time with. This quite odd considering how central to the man's identity and psychology as well as spirituality it was. His association with freemasonry on the other hand is more often emphasized and recalled, despite the fact he hardly could be called a keen mason. He appears to have seldom attended the duties of his lodge and quite quickly allowed his attendance to dwindle to nothing.
Referencing my "footnote" point above, the sad point is that the opposite of what Doyle hoped came to pass. Spiritualism- rather than in its ascendency, still maintains today its maligned position, only really being referenced in popular culture in terms of ridicule and the derision of "pop" professors like the wiseman/ derren brown combo.
Although this may cast a postmodern shadow over this work, but I consider it to be up there with Doyle's best. Impassioned, well informed and strikingly well read from sources of the time, this book serves as a great introduction to the origins of spiritualism and spiritualistic phenomenon. It is also well written throughout, but in the formal victorian style of its writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 24 May 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a must buy for anyone wanting to know more about spiritualism. Has everything you will ever need to know. For those with more experience in reading heavy material this book will be wonderful to read. I myself bought this book and decided to read only a chapter at a time so I could fully understand what was being said
Please buy this book so much history in it you will never need to buy another book like this
Enjoy reading
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 6 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very interesting book
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved ThisBook
A bit heavy on dates etc etc but is a must read for those who are interested in this area
Will not be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoyed the historic information on this... Read more
Published 9 months ago by EJ Swan
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This book was very interesting. I would recommend this book to friends and family. It has a lot of useful information who are entering their spiritual path.
Published 9 months ago by Nicola J Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars happiness is a good product
this is a very good company with a no nonsense approach and products are dispatched and received in good condition
Published 10 months ago by adrian dickinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A really valuable book for sources and evidence of early Spiritualism
Doyle provides many sources of information about early Spiritualism which he investigated with his great intellect, and he tried out seances for himself in many cases, which adds... Read more
Published 22 months ago by N. Hutt
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Matched Master Piece
I have had both volumes of this book for years and have just purchased the Kindle download.

It is a master piece that has yet to be matched, and a must read for anyone... Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2012 by Purdy Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HISTORY OF SPIRITUALISM COMPLETE
I LIKE THE ONE VOLUME ITS EASIER TO READ THAN THE 2 VOL EDITIONS ON THE MARKET ALSO OLD TRUTHS ARE THE BEST MODERN SPIRITUALISM NEEDS TO HARK BACK TO THESE WISE... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2010 by P. Barker
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