Adare, Lord (1841-1926)

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Adare, Lord (1841-1926)

Author of a remarkable work, Experiences in Spiritualism with D. D. Home, printed privately in 1869 at the request of his father, Earl of Dunraven. To make this book accessible to a large public and in memory of his father to whose title he succeeded, the author agreed in 1924 to a second edition by the Society for Psychical Research, omitting the attestation of some of the prominent witnesses of the phenomena. The probable reason for the privacy of the first publication was that the Earl of Dun-raven, being a Roman Catholic, wished to avoid the censure of the Church.

The friendship of Lord Adare and Daniel Douglas Home dated from 1867. It began at Malvern in Dr. Gully's hydropathic establishment, where Home was a guest and Lord Adare a patient. For the next two years he spent a great deal of time in Home's company. His friendship for Home (as stated in his preface to the 1924 publication) never diminished or changed thereafter.

The phenomena recorded in the book are of a wide range and embrace almost every spiritualistic manifestation. Only the absence of apport phenomena and the penetration of matter through solid matter is conspicuous. Its possibility was stoutly denied by Home. The records fail to meet scientific requirements in many ways. The control was left to the senses, no instruments were introduced, and many points in the narrative were left incomplete.

No attempt was made to appraise the sittings in scientific categories. "Miracle worship" might best describe the attitude of Lord Adare and of his fellow-sitters. On the other hand, while deficient in some ways, these records demonstrate the conscientiousness of those who observed Home. Each wrote letters addressed to the Earl of Dunraven shortly after the séances. Lord Adare, for almost two years, lived most of the time with Home, which bolstered his belief that Home was not perpetrating a large scale deception. The preface states: "We have not, on a single occasion, during the whole series of seances, seen any indication of contrivance on the part of the medium for producing or facilitating the manifestations which have taken place."