Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Scottish Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Biography

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Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a Scottish Doctor, Author and Poet, and is most notably remembered for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes. Regarded as the leading light of crime and science fictions, the author is best known for the world popular character Sherlock Holmes and the adventures of Professor Challenger.

Sir Arthur Doyle was a prolific writer and produced a prodigious output in a variety of genres ranging from science fictions to historical novels to plays and romances and non – fiction stories. The world famous character of detective Sherlock Holmes first appeared in his novel A Study in Scarlet in 1887, and from then on Sir Arthur began writing stories starring the character which resulted in about fifty five more Sherlock Holmes stories and four novels starring him.

Conan Doyle wrote many fiction and non fiction works including The Stark Munro Letters, The Exploits of Brigadier Gerad, The Hound of the Baskervilles and his masterpiece the Lost World. Many of his works are still in print and have been published in a number of foreign languages. Sir Arthur Childhood & Education

Born on 22 May 1859, Arthur Conan Doyle was the son of an English father Charles Altamont Doyle and an Irish mother Nee Mary Foley. His father Charles was a fervent alcoholic and would lead a problematic life amid addiction and depression and eventually died in 1893. Supported by his uncle, Arthur was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst in 1868 when Conan Doyle was eight.

After this, Conan Doyle attended Stonyhurst College from where he received his graduation degree in 1875. Between 1876 and 1881, Arthur studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and started writing short stories. Conan Doyle received his doctorate with a specialization in tabes dorsalis in 1885.
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Conan Doyle Early Life & Career

In 1882, Arthur Doyle ventured in to medical practice with a friend, but soon regretted his decision and parted away to set up his own practice. Conan Doyle managed to set up a medical practice in Elm Grove, South – sea. The practice initially did not earn him much and he found plenty of time to write in his free time.

A Study in Scarlet, his first important work featuring Sherlock Holmes appeared in 1887. From then on, Sherlock Holmes became an indispensable part of his short stories and most of them were published in the English Strand Magazine.

While living in Southsea, Arthur Doyle developed a passion for football and devoted a considerable time to the Portsmouth Association Football Club, playing as a goalkeeper. Arthur Doyle also performed well in cricket for an amateur and was once elected captain of Crowborough Beacon Golf Club, East Sussex.

Arthur Conan Marriages & Children

Arthur Conan Doyle married his first wife Louisa Hawkins in 1885, who bore him two children : Mary Louise ( 28 January 1889 – 12 June 1976 ) and Arthur Alleyne Kingsley, known as Kingsley ( 15 November 1892 – 28 October 1918 ).

On 4 July 1906, Louisa Hawkins died of Tuberculosis following a long period of illness. One year later in 1907, Arthur married Jean Elizabeth Leckie and fathered three children; Denis Percy Stewart ( 17 March 1909 – 9 March 1955 ), Adrian Malcolm ( 1910 – 1970 ) and Jean Lena Annette ( 1912 – 1997 ). Jean died on 27 June 1940.

Later Years & Work

In 1890, Arthur settled in London and began practicing as an ophthalmologist. The practice was not successful and again Arthur Doyle turned to writing more and more. Arthur, as a Writer, was always inclined towards writing historical novels and believed that the success of Sherlock Holmes came as a hurdle in this.

Arthur Doyle decided to kill the character of Sherlock Holmes and did so in the story The Final Problem in 1893. A public hullabaloo ensued and he had to bring the character back in the story The Adventures of the Empty House. In his later career, Arthur moved on to a broader line of work and began writing about the political sphere.

One of such was The War in South Africa : Its Cause and Conduct, a pamphlet which explained the involvement of UK in the Boer war. Arthur Doyle next wrote The Great Boer War in 1900. The success of the pamphlet led him to being elected for Knighthood in 1902 and he was made Deputy – Lieutenant of Surrey.

The Crime of the Congo, another pamphlet was published in 1909, after which he wrote what is believed to be one of his masterpieces The Lost World in 1912.

Sir Arthur on Spiritualism

In the early 20th century, Arthur suffered from many personal losses. His wife Louisa died of Tuberculosis and tragedy once again hit the family when his son Kingsley, brother Innes, and other close relative succumbed to death one after another. These incidents pushed him into a state ofdepression and turned him into a spiritualist.

Arthur, as a child, was an agonist and had strayed from religious nature for many years. However, by this time he had become increasingly interested and obsessed with spiritualism to the extent that he wrote a Professor Challenger Novel called The Land of Mist. His next book The Coming of the Fairies, which Arthur Doyle wrote in 1921, supported his views on spiritualism and “life beyond life”.

In his book The History of Spiritualism, Arthur endorsed the spirit materialization and psychic phenomena. By this time Arthur Doyle had come to believe that the living can communicate with the dead. The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, one of his last books, was published in 1927.

Death

Arthur Conan Doyle died of heart attack in the family garden in “Windlesham”, Crowborough on 7 July 1930 and was buried in the Church Yard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire in England. His wife Jean was buried at his side after her death 1940.

Arthur Doyle Timeline

    • 1859 – Arthur Conan Doyle wasborn on 22 May.
    • 1893 – His father Charles Doyle died.
    • 1868 – Arthur was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst.
  • 1875 – Arthur Doyle received his graduation degree from Stonyhurst College.
  • 1882 – Arthur Doyle ventured in to medical practice with a friend.
  • 1885 – Sir Arthur received his doctorate with a specialization in tabes dorsalis.
  • 1885 – Arthur Conan Doyle married his first wife Louisa Hawkins.
  • 1887 – A Study in Scarlet, his first important work featuring Sherlock Holmes appeared.
  • 1890 – Arthur settled in London and began practicing as an ophthalmologist.
  • 1893 – Arthur Doyle killed the character of Sherlock Holmes in the story The Final Problem.
  • 1900 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle next wrote The Great Boer War in 1900.
  • 1902 – Arthur Conan was elected for Knighthood in 1902 and was made Deputy – Lieutenant of Surrey.
  • 1906 – Louisa Hawkins died of Tuberculosis on 4 July.
  • 1907 – Arthur married Jean Elizabeth Leckie.
  • 1909 – The Crime of the Congo, another pamphlet was published.
  • 1912 – Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his masterpiece The Lost World.
  • 1927 – The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, one of his last books, was published in 1927.
  • 1930 – Arthur Conan Doyle died of heart attack on 7 July.
  • 1940 – His second wife Jean died on 27 June.