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New book is published on medium who packed the London Palladium

JUST weeks away from the centenary of the birth of famous medium Doris Stokes, a new book is being released this month about her life and achievements.

DORIS STOKES “would much sooner have had a Swiss roll than a Swiss bank account any day!”
   DORIS STOKES “would much sooner
have had
a Swiss roll than a Swiss
bank account any day!”

It has been written by Linda Dearsley, who wrote several of Doris’ best-selling books.

Because she was clairaudient, all featured the word “voices” in the title. The latest book, Voices Everywhere, is subtitled The Mysterious Doris Stokes Effect.

Born on January 6, 1920, Doris passed on May 8, 1987, following surgery at a NW London hospital for a brain tumour. It is thought that she did not regain consciousness after the operation.

“Doris suffered health problems for many years,” said Linda. “Apart from having a breast removed due to cancer, her thyroid was also removed.

“She was good-natured throughout and would sometimes joke, ‘They’re taking me over to the Other Side bit by bit!’

“On more than one occasion, Doris had to cancel one of her sold-out meetings, and felt awful about having to do so. However, she always wanted to give of her very best and not to disappoint people with a poor demonstration of mediumship.”

Asked how the latest book came about, Linda told Psychic News: “Last year, having written a couple of unrelated books for him, my editor at the publishers asked me to give him some ideas for another title.

“I jotted down about six possibilities. The morning I was going to e-mail them to him, I woke up thinking about the ‘voices books’ and how clever Doris’ publishers had been to think of so many permutations – Voices in My Ear, Joyful Voices, Whispering Voices, Voices of Love, etc.

“If Doris hadn’t passed when she did, I thought, ‘I wonder what other titles they would have been able to think of using voices?’ Suddenly, into my head jumped the title Voices Everywhere.

“I reckoned that wasn’t a bad title, but didn’t think any more of it. Gradually, it occurred to me that over the years I had met so many people who seemed to have a similar message to Doris.

“It was almost as if there really were voices everywhere, so I added that title to my list of suggestions and sent it off.

“Some of the other ideas were a lot stronger commercially, but in the end – and to my surprise – the publisher came back and said that’s the book he wanted. From then on, the people I had to talk to just fell into my path.”

Linda added: “I’m amazed at how many people still remember Doris. Not only that, but they told me that she changed their lives.

“Without seeking to find them, I met a man who was told by Doris that he would become a medium, meet the woman who’d become his wife on March 6 and even gave her name. All these details were correct.

Dorris packed the London Palladium something like eight times and took Australia by storm   

“I also met a woman who, at the age of eighteen, was told that she would be the next Doris Stokes. Later, she went on to win Channel 5’s series Britain’s Psychic Challenge.

“I bumped into another woman who told me that years before, having been bereaved, she was reading a Doris Stokes book and was completely engrossed in it when she heard footsteps.

“She looked up and saw her late father standing there – real and solid as he was in life.

“I see you’ve found your path,’ he told her, indicating the book with a smile. Then he vanished.

“That lady went on to train to become a medium, is now active in the Spiritualist movement and asked me to give a talk about Doris and the new book at a Spiritualists’ National Union Easter Rally this year.”

Linda continued: “As time passed, I thought I was walking further and further away from the Doris Stokes phenomenon only to discover years later that I’d been going round in a circle.

“As explained, people with unusual abilities – little echoes of Doris – kept crossing my path like beads on a string, each one unknowingly revealing another strand of the mystery.

“As the decades slipped by, the intervals between these meetings grew shorter and shorter until at last I found I was back at the beginning – with Doris Stokes centre stage once again.

“I’m quite sure this is the book Doris wanted written and she’s been guiding – not to say pushing – me every step of the way. I think that the sub-title, The Mysterious Doris Stokes Effect, sums it up.

“The book examines the extraordinary phenomenon that Doris unleashed at the time, which is still continuing to this day.

“It does this by going back over how I met Doris – then completely unknown outside Spiritualist circles – how we worked together, and what happened as her fame grew and grew with astonishing results.”

At the time, Linda “didn’t appreciate how amazing it all was and how, all over the country, people were having their lives changed by Doris’ work.

“When she passed, I thought that was the end of it, but I realise now that she’s still working just as hard and the story continues.

“This is the story of Doris’ rise to fame, passing away and then what happened next.”

Answering the point that Doris made vast sums from her books and theatre appearances, Linda said: “Doris’ so-called missing millions never turned up, for the simple reason that I suspect she didn’t make a huge fortune.

“It was all press speculation. She gave away a lot to deserving causes. After she passed on, tax bills arrived and the family had to sell Doris’ modest house in SE London and auction off her personal possessions to pay the bills.

“If she had millions stashed away that would never have happened. When Terry, her adopted son, passed on a few years later there wasn’t even enough money to bury him and Psychic News ran an appeal to give him a decent funeral.

“The press couldn’t get over the fact that Doris appeared not to have accumulated the enormous wealth they were certain she must have possessed.

“Stories about the mystery of her missing millions kept appearing in papers. There were dark hints about secret Swiss bank accounts and offshore companies.

“They simply could not believe that she gave most of her earnings away. Knowing Doris, she would much sooner have had a Swiss roll than a Swiss bank account any day!”

Doris Stokes Voices Everywhere Published by Dark River, “Voices Everywhere” is being released on December 3 at £12.99. It can be ordered from any bookshop or online. More details appear at www.BennionKearny.com/Doris

Asked why the public took Doris to their hearts, Linda said: “It’s an amazing story. Doris was practically agoraphobic and only ever went out to demonstrate or attend a special occasion like a Psychic News dinner-dance.

“Yet this was the person who packed the London Palladium something like eight times and took Australia by storm appearing at the Sydney Opera House and being whisked all over the country.

“I think people warmed to Doris because of her natural mumsy style and the fact that she was exactly the same on and off stage.

“Doris was genuinely surprised that, as a song says, she became ‘the celebrity celebrities wanted to meet.’

“For instance, she was also genuinely surprised to be asked to appear on BBC Radio 4’s iconic Desert Island Discs. Nothing ever went to Doris’ head.

“In all the years I knew her, Doris never changed. All she wanted to do was to help and heal those suffering from grief and show them that their loved ones, as she always said, ‘Are only a thought away’.”

♦ Published by Dark River, “Voices Everywhere” is being released on December 3 at £12.99. It can be ordered from any bookshop or online. More details appear at www.BennionKearny.com/Doris


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