Arthur Conan Doyle : biography
Scotch and English writer whose detective stories about Sherlock Holmes, science fiction about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about Brigadier Gerard brought him worldwide popularity. He was also known for his historical novels.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in the family of Irish Catholics known for their success in arts and literature. Father Charles Altamont Doyle was an artist and architectб in the of 23 he married 17 years old Mary Fowly. The girl had passion for books and was a talented storyteller. Arthur inherited her interest for knightly traditions, feats of arms and adventures. “This passion for literature and liking for writing I think was based on my mother’s influence” – wrote Conan Doyle in his autobiography. – “Bright images of stories mu mother used to tell me in my childhood completely replaced my memories of concrete events of those years of my life”.
The family of future writer faced serious financial problems – solely because of the father strange behavior who suffered from alcoholism and extremely unbalanced temper. Arthur spent his school life in Godder preparation school. When the boy was 9 his rich relatives suggested their paying for his education and sent Arthur to Jesuitical Stonihest private college (Lancashire County) for seven years. As a result of that education Arthur started hating religious and class prejudices and physical punishment. Very few happy moments of that period were associated letters to mother – he never gave up his habit to her about all the events of his life in detail through his whole life. In addition in college Arthur went in for sports for great pleasure, his favorite kind of sport was cricket. He also developed his talent for telling stories – he would attract a group of peers and they used to listen for his stories that he was composing on the run.
In 1876 Arthur finished his education in college and came back home. The first thing to do was to re-register the documents to his name. By that time his father completely went out of his mind. The writer would tell about the dramatic circumstances of sending his father elder Doyle to mental hospital in his story “The Surgeon of Gaster Fell” (written in 1880). Arthur Doyle preferred medical career to arts (that was natural for his family). Doyle decision to choose medicine was mostly the influence of Brian Ch. Woller , young doctor who rented a room in Doyle’s mother house. Doctor Woller got education in Edinburg University, so that was the place Arthur decided to move for to continue his education. While studying at university he got acquainted with James Barry and Robert Louise Stevenson, both future writers.
Being a third-grade student Arthur Doyle decided to try himself in literature field. His first story “the Mystery of Sasassa Valley” created under the influence of Edgar Allan Poу and Bret Harte (his favorite writers of that period of time) was published in University paper “Chamber’s Journal” the one that published Tom Hardy’s first works. In that very year Doyle’s second story “American Tale” was published in “London Society”.
Since February till September of 1880 Arthur Doyle was working as a ship doctor on whaling ship “Hope” floating in iced waters of Arctic. He worked there for eight months and earned a sum of approximately 50 pound. Doyle would write in his biography that he went on board as a clumsy youth and went out as a strong adult man. The impressions of the journey to Arctic made base for the story “Captain of the Pole-Star”. Two years later he travelled again going to the western coast of Africa on board of steamboat “Mayumba” running between Liverpool and western coast of Africa.
Having got his diploma in 1881 and medicine bachelor degree Conan Doyle started his medical practice. In the beginning he co-worked with a partner (quite a negligent one, the experience was later describe in story “Old man Munro’s notes”). Later he continued his individual practice in Portsmouth. Finally he made literature his main profession in 1891. In January 1884 magazine “Cornhill” published his story “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement”. In that very period he got acquainted with his future wife Louise Hawkins, they married on the 6th of August 1885.