Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!

Today is the birth date of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930), creator of Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective the world has ever known (sorry Nero Wolfe).  Of course Doyle created other characters and other stories, but it's for giving birth (literary-ly speaking) to Holmes, that he is remembered most today - something which might or might not have pleased him.

Though generally regarded as an English writer, Doyle was born, spent his early life and studied medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I am pleased to note the epitapth on his gravestone: Steel true - Blade straight - Arthur Conan Doyle - Knight - Patriot, Physician and Man of Letters. 

Sherlock Holmes


  1. Great epitaph. He may not have been happy that his literary legacy has been somewhat eclipsed by the popularity of Sherlock Holmes but he needn't have worried. Holmes is one of the most interesting and enduring literary characters and one which I can return to again and again and never tire of. Same for millions over the years. What an achievement.

  2. Oh I didn't know it was Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday!

    The Sherlock Holmes books were my first major mystery reads. I’m still very fond of them. They do bring back a lot of memories.

  3. I now have "post-good-book" slump, as I finished "Enslaved by Ducks."

    I miss Ollie, Stanley Sue, Dusty, the parakeets, ducks, geese, turkeys (yes, even turkeys), bunnies. The cats I would miss, too, but they were barely mentioned.

    I howled constantly, even at the end when Dusty, the Congo gray parrot, yells the "B" word at Rhonda, the petsitter. (That is some smart bird.) A riot.

    I'm returning it to the library, but since I purchased it for friends to share, I'll end up with it at the end and can consult special pages.

    And the only thing to do now is to read Bob Tarte's sequel, "Fowl-Weather Friends."

    Anyone who loves animals and laughing should go get this book immediately.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Dear Yvette -

    Happy (belated) Birthday, ACD!

    I have always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes, and am presently enjoying the new Masterpiece interpretation.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has also intrigued me because he was so interested in metaphysics. You probably know that he spent a lot of time and effort in trying to prove that there was life after death.

  5. Lucy, I think you're right. I think he would be happy just to be remembered and revered even if it was for the creation of Holmes. If not for Doyle, who knows what turns mystery and detective fiction would have taken? He started it on the right path and created an enduring legacy.

  6. Willow, I still re-read them occasionally. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES still casts its spell, as do most of the short stories.

  7. I hear you, Kathy. See today's post. :)

  8. I've often wondered, Mark, what turned him into such a devoted believer in life after death and even, in the actuality of fairies. (Remember the phoney photo which took many Victorians in?)

    I think I may have to read Doyle's biography one of these days. So many books, so little time. You know the routine.

  9. Yvette, you may want to read Michael Dirda's "On Conan Doyle," which won the Edgar for Best Critical/Biographical this year. While it talks about Holmes - obviously! - it also reviews, lovingly, Doyle's other writings, which Dirda feels have been unjustly neglected. It's not very long - you can probably get through it in a couple of hours - but it is a delightful and informative book, very much worth the award!

  10. Ooooh, thanks, Les. That sounds like just the ticket. It's not an E-book is it?

  11. Yes - Amazon lists both a hardcover and a Kindle version. Enjoy!


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