Arthur Conan Doyle, in full Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, (born May 22, 1859, Edinburgh, Scotland—died July 7, 1930, Crowborough, Sussex, England), Scottish writer best known for his creation of the detective Sherlock Holmes—one of the most vivid and enduring characters in English fiction.
Conan Doyle, the second of Charles Altamont and Mary Foley Doyle’s 10 children, began seven years of Jesuit education in Lancashire, England, in 1868. After an additional year of schooling in Feldkirch, Austria, Conan Doyle returned to Edinburgh. Through the influence of Dr. Bryan Charles Waller, his mother’s lodger, he prepared for entry into the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School. He received Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery qualifications from Edinburgh in 1881 and an M.D. in 1885 upon completing his thesis, “An Essay upon the Vasomotor Changes in Tabes Dorsalis.”
While a medical student, Conan Doyle was deeply impressed by the skill of his professor, Dr. Joseph Bell, in observing the most minute detail regarding a patient’s condition. This master of diagnostic deduction became the model for Conan Doyle’s literary creation, Sherlock Holmes, who first appeared in A Study in Scarlet, a novel-length story published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. Other aspects of Conan Doyle’s medical education and experiences appear in his semiautobiographical novels, The Firm of Girdlestone (1890) and The Stark Munro Letters (1895), and in the collection of medical short stories Round the Red Lamp (1894). (See alsoSherlock Holmes: Pioneer in Forensic Science.) Conan Doyle’s creation of the logical, cold, calculating Holmes, the “world’s first and only consulting detective,” sharply contrasted with the paranormal beliefs Conan Doyle addressed in a short novel of this period, The Mystery of Cloomber (1889). Conan Doyle’s early interest in both scientifically supportable evidence and certain paranormal phenomena exemplified the complex diametrically opposing beliefs he struggled with throughout his life.
Driven by public clamour, Conan Doyle continued writing Sherlock Holmes adventures through 1926. His short stories were collected in several volumes, and he also wrote novels (e.g., The Hound of the Baskervilles, serialized 1901–02) that feature Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson. Conan Doyle, however, claimed the success of Holmes overshadowed the merit he believed his other historical fiction deserved, most notably his tale of 14th-century chivalry, The White Company (1891), its companion piece, Sir Nigel (1906), and his adventures of the Napoleonic war hero Brigadier Gerard and the 19th-century skeptical scientist Professor George Edward Challenger.
When his passions ran high, Conan Doyle also turned to nonfiction. His works included military writings, The Great Boer War (1900) and The British Campaign in France and Flanders, 6 vol. (1916–20), and subjects such as the Belgian atrocities in the Congo during Leopold II’s reign, in The Crime of the Congo (1909), as well as his involvement in the actual criminal cases of George Edalji and Oscar Slater.
Conan Doyle married Louisa Hawkins in 1885, and together they had two children, Mary and Kingsley. A year after Louisa’s death in 1906, he married Jean Leckie and with her had three children, Denis, Adrian, and Jean. Conan Doyle was knighted in 1902 for his work with a field hospital in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and other services during the South African (Boer) War.
Conan Doyle himself viewed his most important efforts to be his campaign in support of spiritualism, the religion and psychic research subject based upon the belief that spirits of the departed continued to exist in the hereafter and can be contacted by those still living. He donated the majority of his literary efforts and profits later in his life to this campaign, beginning with The New Revelation (1918) and The Vital Message (1919). He later chronicled his travels in supporting the spiritualist cause in The Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921), Our American Adventure (1923), Our Second American Adventure (1924), and Our African Winter (1929). He discussed other spiritualist issues in his Case for Spirit Photography (1922), Pheneas Speaks (1927), and a two-volume The History of Spiritualism (1926). Conan Doyle became the world’s most-renowned proponent of spiritualism, but he faced considerable opposition for his conviction from the magician Harry Houdini and in a 1920 debate with the humanist Joseph McCabe. Even spiritualists joined in criticizing Conan Doyle’s article “The Evidence for Fairies,” published in The Strand Magazine in 1921, and his subsequent book The Coming of the Fairies (1922), in which he voiced support for the claim that two young girls, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, had photographed actual fairies that they had seen in the Yorkshire village of Cottingley.
Conan Doyle died in Windlesham, his home in Crowborough, Sussex, and at his funeral his family and members of the spiritualist community celebrated rather than mourned the occasion of his passing beyond the veil. On July 13, 1930, thousands of people filled London’s Royal Albert Hall for a séance during which Estelle Roberts, the spiritualist medium, claimed to have contacted Sir Arthur.
Conan Doyle detailed what he valued most in life in his autobiography, Memories and Adventures (1924), and the importance that books held for him in Through the Magic Door (1907).
The Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay
774 Words4 Pages
The Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh on 22 May 1859, he died in 1930. He printed his first Sherlock Holmes book, "A Study in Scarlet" in 1887 in Beeton's Christmas Annual. Sherlock Holmes soon became very popular amongst the people of their day, People immediately fell in love with Sherlock Holmes for several reasons. One of the main reasons was because he was a detective and detectives were new at the time, the police were very incompetent at doing their jobs. The public were very insecure, they knew the police were absolutely useless. The public felt very vulnerable, as if they were open to attack all the time. Sherlock Holmes, when…show more content…
At the time, Jack the ripper was also a problem for people, he made life for women very insecure and unsafe seeing as they were his main targets. When Sherlock spoke to women he was more of a gentleman, in many stories women came to Sherlock seeking help. Women didn't have much power during the times of Victorian England. Back then the old "Ball 'n' Chain" really was the Ball 'n' Chain for women, once they were married they were basically considered, in my opinion, baby making machines or trophies, something you had around the house that's sole purpose was to look happy or pretty. Men didn't consider that their wives had feelings or desires, that there was something behind the smiles, women, like men actually wanted to be something and not just watch other people get there. That's one of the reasons why women came to visit Sherlock Holmes to ask for help, he was a gentleman.
Victorian England had a very interesting setting to it, dark streets, opium dens, markets etc. The opium dens being one of the places in Victorian England that was considered somewhere were everyone went to smoke their troubles away, opium dens, evolved into regular bars, where people go to drink their troubles of the day away. Opium dens were generally dark settings where mysterious figures would be hidden in dark corners, away from the people, Opium dens