Other than the importance of Sherlock Holmes as a character, several significant issues arose in the article that need attention. Firstly Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) drew upon his experiences as a physician. Murder Mystery blog noted that just months shy of graduating, Doyle made the adventurous decision to accept a position as a surgeon on a whaling ship heading to the Arctic. Grist for his later mill.
Even when he gave up medicine to write full time in 1891, he was still committed to his concept of national duty. When the chance came for him to join a hospital unit that had been put together by a medical friend in the Boer War of 1900, Doyle jumped at the chance, even though he had to do so at his own expense. At least two significant books came out of his work as a military doctor: The Great Boer War and Great Britain and the Next War.
Secondly Doyle turned to spiritualism during very trying periods in his life that were filled with loss and mourning. His first wife was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1893, forcing them to emigrate so she could receive top class treatment. As the very same time, his own father died. It is no coincidence that Doyle joined the British Society for Psychical Research in 1893.
Then in World War One, his family was again devastated by death. Doyle’s beautiful young son, Arthur, was killed, as was his brother and two of his nephews. The war was a nightmare for all families, but Doyle’s family seemed to lose more than its fair share of young men. Victorian Paintings noted that mediums could call the spirits of loved ones in to sit for a picture, so so-called spirit photos would have been precious.
I haven’t read The History of Spiritualism, a reference book that Doyle wrote in 1926. If he really did dedicate himself to the cause of spiritualism in later life, perhaps he feared he only had a few years of life left. Armchair Travel blog cites Conan Doyle in that that it really matters what people think. Conan Doyle believed that what people think is not just what occurs to them. They can actually direct their thoughts into creative and even inspirational channels.