All about Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, bio, free stories online & links to books
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied to be a doctor
at the University of Edinburgh and set up a small practice at Southsea
in Hampshire during his 20s. While the practice proved largely
unsuccessful, the lack of patients provided him with the opportunity to
create possibly the most popular character ever introduced in the
history of fiction, Sherlock Holmes.
While at University, Conan Doyle had been greatly influenced by Dr. Joseph Bell, one of his professors. Bell was an expert in the use of deductive
reasoning to diagnose disease. Conan Doyle was so impressed that he used
these same principles when creating his famous detective.
Sherlock Holmes was introduced in A Study in Scarlet (1887), followed by A
Sign of Four in 1890, but didn't really take hold of the public's
imagination until Strand magazine, newly founded in 1890, published a
series of short stories called "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes." From
that point on the public couldn't get enough of Holmes and his always
reliable confidant, John H. Watson, a retired military doctor.
Residing in London at 221B Baker Street, Holmes's character and
personality set him apart from all others. "Holmes, with his keen sense
of observation, his lean face and hooked nose, his long legs, his
deerstalker hat, his magnifying glass, and his ever-present pipe. This
personality is what caught the reader's imagination." (The Literature of Crime and Detection)
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
From 1891 to 1893, Strand published stories featuring Holmes and
Watson, all avidly followed by the public. When in The Final Problem
(1893), Holmes and his longtime nemesis, Professor Moriarty, are killed
off, the public outcry was so great, Conan Doyle was forced to bring him
back to life. He continued the exploits of Holmes and Watson nine years
later in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902).
More novels and short stories appeared to the delight of Conan Doyle's
fans until The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927), the last to
feature the brilliant sleuth.
Sherlock Holmes is without doubt one of the most beloved figures in the
history of mystery fiction. Conan Doyle's works were made into several
stage plays and feature films. In all, Holmes and Watson were featured
in four novels and 56 short stories.
Despite the success of his most famous character, throughout his adult
life Conan Doyle sought to escape the Sherlock Holmes phenomenon and
concentrate on writing about his other interests. Although he was never
completely successful due to the intense popularity of Holmes, he was
knighted for his nonfiction work on the Boer War and also wrote other
historical works such as The White Company (1890).