DOYLE, Arthur Conan

(1859 - 1930)
“To a great mind, nothing is little.” 

Born in Edinburgh into a prosperous family, Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle learnt at his mother’s knee the joy of a story well told.  She had a passion for books and told her young son adventure tales in a such a way that years later he wrote “the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly”.  Sent to an English Jesuit boarding school, which he loathed, Doyle kept the other boys amused by making up stories and recounting them to his enthralled young audience.  Needing to earn a living, he studied medicine, serving as a surgeon on ships travelling to the Arctic  and to Africa, before setting up a practice in Portsmouth.  During his time as a young doctor, both at sea and on land, he continued with his story telling, this time putting his ideas onto paper, and having some of his short stories published in various journals.  In 1886 he began work on a new tale, one which was to catapult him into the literary limelight.  He had some difficulty in finding a publisher, but was finally accepted, albeit somewhat unenthusiastically, by Ward Locke who included A Study in Scarlet in Beeton's Christmas Annual in late 1887.  A year later this introductory adventure of Sherlock Holmes was published in book form, and was followed in 1890 by The Sign of Four.  In the words of his famous creation, the game was by now well afoot, and to the delight of his admirers, Conan Doyle continued to write short stories about Holmes and Dr Watson, which were initially published in The Strand Magazine, before being brought out in book form.  Growing tired of his reader’s appetite for further adventures, and feeling that they overshadowed his other work, Conan Doyle famously tried to kill off his creation in 1893 – an act which led to the cancelling of 20,000 subscriptions to The Strand.  Public outcry led him to bring back his creation in the 1902 novel The Hound of The Baskervilles.

In addition to Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle wrote historical novels, military histories, plays, poetry and essays on spiritualism, but it is for the four novels and five books of short stories about the great detective that he is best remembered.


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 Arthur Conan DOYLE

Books by this author

The Hound of the Baskervilles

DOYLE, Arthur Conan


The Valley of Fear

DOYLE, Arthur Conan


The Sign of Four

DOYLE, Arthur Conan


The Vital Message

DOYLE, Arthur Conan