Arthur Conan Doyle


Arthur Conan Doyle : biography

In 1892 was finished French Canadian adventure novel “The Refugees” and historical play “Waterloo”. The play should be mentioned for presence of actor Henry Irving who took part in performance. The actor was very popular at that time. Later he managed to get all the rights for the play.

Sherlock Holmes.

“A Scandal in Bohemia” was the first story of the series “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. The story was published in “Strand Magazine” in 1891. The prototype of the main character, who soon became a professional detective consultant, was Joseph Bell a professor of Edinburg University. Joseph Bell was popular for his distinctive ability to guess the characters of people and their past judging by small details. During two years Conan Doyle wrote stories about Sherlock Holmes one by one and as a result he found his character rather burdensome. His attempt to finish with Sherlock Holmes in his fight with professor Moriarty in The Final Problem” turned unsuccessful. The audience’s beloved character had to be “raised from dead”. Sherlock Holmes epopee was developed into the novel, “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. The novel is now supposed to be a classical detective novel.

Four novels were devoted to Sherlock Holmes adventures which were: “A Study in Scarlet” written in 1887, “The Sign of Four” of 1890, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” of 1902, “The Valley of Fear” of 1915 and five volumes of collected stories. The most popular collections are “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” published in 1892, “The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes” of 1894 and “The Return of Sherlock Holmes of 1905. The contemporaries would underestimate the values of Sherlock Holmes series supposing the character to be a copy for such characters as Dupin by Edgar Allan Poe, Lecoq by Emile Gaboriau and Wilkie Collins’s detective. The retrospective review showed the difference between those characters and Sherlock Holmes. The original character and his distinctive features made him popular through centuries and actual for all times. The unusual popularity of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson based a kind of myth around the flat on Baker-street in London.


In 1900 Conan Doyle returned to his medical practice he started working as a surgeon of a mobile hospital during war against Boer. The book devoted the events of the war was published in 1902 titled “The Great Boer War”. The book was appreciated with enthusiasm by conservative circle and drew the writer close to governmental sphere. As a result he got quite an ironic nickname “Patriot”, it should be mentioned that the writer himself was proud of the fact. In the beginning of the 20th century Conan Doyle got ranks of noble and knight. He also took part in Edinburg election as a candidate but was never elected.

On the 4th of July in 1906 the writer’s wife Louise Doyle died, they had two children. In 1907 Conan Doyle married Jean Elizabeth Leckie, the writer had fallen in love with her since the moment they met, long before they married – in 1897.

After finishing post-war debates Conan Doyle started broad journalistic (as it could be called now) activity for protecting human rights. His attention was driven by “George Edalji case”. George Edalji was a solicitor who was wrongly blamed with fabricated prosecution (for maiming horses). Conan Doyle took a role of detective and thoroughly studied the details of the case. He proved George Edalji’s innocence with the prolonged series of publications in London newspaper “Daily telegraph”. It be mentioned that he managed with the help of criminal experts. Since June in 1907 they started hearings for George Edalji’s case in the House of Commons. The Hearings revealed the imperfections of the law system that didn’t have one important instrument by that time, it was appellate court. Appellate court was approved in Great Britain, in many respects with the help of Conan Doyle.