19 May 2004
Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. Autograph letter signed ('ACD') to James Ryan, Frinton, 9 September 1913, 3½ pages, 4to.
Conan Doyle on faith and religion. After discussing the question of some archeological inscriptions about which Ryan has written to him, Conan Doyle continues with revealing comments on faith itself: 'Faith ... is a very dangerous thing for if I may have faith one way, my neighbour may have faith another ... I do not admit that any faith - but only pure reason - is needed to get the idea of God and also to create a sufficient moral law for our needs. Had faith never been we should ... have been far more united and happier'. The letter ends with speculation about a pre-historical cataclysm in South America.
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