21 Apr 2014
Dipping into the 223B Casebook of Sherlock Holmes parodies and pastiches, we find one about an aspect of Conan Doyle’s life that we haven’t been explored.
Around 1917, Conan Doyle embraced spiritualism, the belief that the human personality survives death and can be contacted. For fans of the ultra-rationalist Holmes, this was a surprising admission. Imagine the response when, three years later, Doyle published an article claiming that photos of the Cottingley Fairies were real.
For the rest of his life, Conan Doyle promoted his beliefs. He bravely faced doubts, insinuations and outright ridicule. One of these attacks took the form of “The Adventure of the Chuckle-Headed Doctor: A Positively Final Story of Sherlock Holmes.” by Reginald Berkeley (1890-1935). The sketch appeared in “The Decorations and Absurdities” by Berkeley and Bohun Lynch.
Stories from the 223B casebook — stories published during Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s lifetime (plus later ones I liked) — are published here every Monday and Friday. The up-to-date list can be found here.