Arthur Conan Doyle
All the clues are there in the first few pages: the narcotics, the torpor, the scratching on the violin, the trusty but plodding assistant. It’s not long before we’re given a treatise on “the science of deduction and analysis” and the use of the word “elementary”. This is our first introduction to the world’s most famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, who made his debut in the long story, A Study in Scarlet, published in 1887.
Sherlock Holmes caught the reading public’s attention with his cold, calculating logic, and he went on to solve many seemingly insoluble cases, always accompanied by his loyal companion, Dr Watson.
So popular is Sherlock Holmes that he has been reincarnated in film many times over, most notably by Basil Rathbone, and more recently by Robert Downey Jnr, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
But he is, of course, a fictional creation, spun from the imagination of Edinburgh doctor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After graduating from Edinburgh university and studying in Vienna, Conan Doyle set up his own medical practice in the south of England. It didn’t do well, and to supplement his income he turned his hand to creative writing. His Holmes adventure stories were immediately successful and ensured that Conan Doyle kept writing them until they ran into several volumes.
To Conan Doyle’s lifelong chagrin, the success of the Sherlock Holmes stories overshadowed his other literary work. Who has heard of his 14th century knight, Sir Nigel, or his Napoleonic war hero, Brigadier Gerard? History was Conan Doyle’s great passion, and he wrote many fictional and non-fiction accounts of great historical events, and published his own psychic research into spiritualism.
It’s Conan Doyle’s birthday today. A pub named after him still stands on the corner of Picardy Place, the street in which he was born. Why not pop in and raise a toast? Better still, log into LibrarySearch and discover his many stories, and the films, for yourself:
Photo source Sandip Roy
By Lesley McRobb
Have a love for reading about authors, you can read about Charles Dickens
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