Spotlight 2018 Fringe : Arthur Conan Doyle – The Spiritualist

With five years of sell-out shows behind her Ann Treherne, Chair of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, will talk about Edinburgh’s famous son, a man of literature and world spokesman of Spiritualism during the 2018 Fringe Festival.

If you want to find out more about Ann’s show, don’t hesitate to read our second Fringe spotlight blog post! You can also book your place for the show here

For those who missed your show in previous years, can you remind us briefly what your talk is about?

It’s about Arthur Conan Doyle, Edinburgh’s most famous son, who was born and brought up here.  Famous author of the Sherlock Holmes stories but less famous as the world’s foremost spokesman on Spiritualism.  The talk explores his life in Edinburgh, before he was famous, but also his interest in Art, Music and Politics, for which he is less well-known.

After five years bringing your show to the Centre, how do you renew your talk every year ?

Can people expect something different this year ?  It is an award-winning show, so it’s important to deliver that show to the public, but there is always something interesting that crops up concerning Arthur Conan Doyle – and this year is no different.  This year I’ll be showing the sketch he did just before he died, which portrays his life’s work.  And, we’ll have the Sherlock Holmes Tartan on display.

Why do you think Arthur Conan Doyle was so interested in Spiritualism?

He had a very enquiring mind from a very early age – which started whilst he was attending Edinburgh University.  This is where he met Joseph Bell, his tutor and the inspiration from Sherlock Holmes.  But, he had an investigative mind himself – just like his famous sleuth – so when he heard about mediumship, he wanted to investigate it.  He rooted out fraudulent mediums and applauded those he found to be genuine and realised there was a greater purpose to their actions.  This caused him to devote the rest of his life to promoting spiritualism – he felt he had a duty to us all to bring this message to our attention.  In my very small way, I’m trying to follow in his footsteps.

As a medium yourself, could you give our readers a quick summary on what drew you to Spiritualism and practising mediumship ?

I had a very successful career in finance – as a senior manager.  I was stopped in my tracks by premonitions which subsequently came to pass.  These were traumatic for me and caused me to question what was happening, and just like Arthur Conan Doyle, coincidentally I started to investigate the phenomenon – and eventually gave up my job to devote my time to psychic investigation, mediumship and giving talks at home and abroad on these subjects and of course on Arthur Conan Doyle.

Lastly, are there any other shows you’ll be attending yourself or could recommend to our readers? 

My show will be followed by a show called, ‘The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houndini. It’s by live stream from America, by Bob Stek.  Bob has a Doctorate in Psychology from Univeristy of Regina, USA and is a retired lecturer from Indiana State University.  He has worked collaboratively with Gary Schwartz and is a keen member of The Sherlock Homes Society and The Baker Street Irregulars.  Bob will explore the turbulent relationship between Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdinin – including some live recordings which I’m sure the audience will find fascinating.

 

 

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