Arthur Conan Doyle

From ArticleWorld

Arthur Conan Doyle was born to Irish parents in May 1859. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1876 and proceeded to work in the town of Aston (now a district of Birmingham). He served as a ship’s doctor on voyage to West Africa and set up a practice in Plymouth on his return.His was awarded his doctorate degree in 1885. Since his practice did not flourish, he took to the one thing he loved: writing.

It is said that the major inspiration for Sherlock Holmes came from Dr.Joseph Bell, his mentor at medical school. In fact Dr.Joseph Bell is said to have solved the mystery of a child’s listlessness merely by observing its surroundings. He surmised that lead paint on the child’s perambulator (stroller) caused lead poisoning. Dr.Doyle was very much influenced by his acuity of vision, observational powers and deductive skills.


Sherlock Holmes

Modelled after his mentor Dr.Joseph Bell, this supersleuth, as he is oft referred to, caught the readers’s fancy. It all began with Dr.Watson’s return from the East to London in the novel A Study in Scarlet . He found that he could rent the apartment of his choice if he agreed to share it. Holmes was his roommate. There is a reason why Baker Street was thought to be a real street in London by his fans. Such was Holmes’ popularity that when Dr.Doyle killed him off at a standoff with Professor Moriairity, there was a public outcry. Therefore, he was to forced to bring Holmes back in the story.

The Author’s deductive skills

Dr.Doyle’s deductive skills and his commitment to justice lead to the release of two falsely imprisoned men, George Edalji in 1906 and Oscar Slater from Glasgow in 1908. George Edalji was a shy half-Indian half-British lawyer and was accused of writing threatening letters and mutilating animals. Inspite of these acts’ continuing to occur after Edlaji was taken into custody; the police were convinced that Edlaji was responsible for these misdeeds.

He asked the lawmakers and the public to provide for the possibility that sometimes, the wrong man might end up being convicted. The Court of Criminal Appeal was formed in 1907 in Britain (in the wake of Edalji’s rescue) thanks to Dr.Doyle’s efforts. Similary, Oscar Slater, two years later was arrested for bludgeoning an 82-year old woman to death.

Dr.Doyle’s intervention caused the release of two innocent men. Infact, the story of Edalji’s rescue is recounted in a fictional form by Julain Barnes’ book Arthur and George .

A political activist

When Britain's conduct and its role in the Boer War was condemned by other nations, Doyle wrote a short pamphlet which explained and supported Britain’s involvement. This pamphlet was widely translated. He was knighted and was appointed Deputy-Lieutenant of Surrey in 1902, following the publication of this pamphlet. Dr.Doyle ran for the Parliament twice in the early years of the twentieth century. Inspite of a respectable vote, he was not elected.

Along with Roger Casement, under the leadership of the journalist E.D. Morel, Dr.Doyle campaigned for the reform of the Congo Free State.

The world’s loss

When Sir Arthur Nan Doyle died at the age of 71, the world lost a humanitarian committed to justice and reform. He was survived by his wife Jean Leckie and his five children. He was buried in the Churyard in Mistead.

Conan Doyle in the 21st Century

Many of his stories have been adapted for television series and for movies all over the world. Several actors portrayed Holmes. The most authentic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes according to the critics was by the actor Jeremy Brett in the televisison series produced by Granada (UK).[[Category:Knights Commander of St Michael and St George|Doyle,