Arthur Conan Doyle (1859- 1930)
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in the capital of Scotland, Edinburg. His father Charles E. Doyle, was an artist and architect by profession, but he worked as a clerk in an office. The father died young and the Doyle family was very poor. Arthur’s mother was a very good storyteller and her fantastic stories he remembered all his life. The talent of story-telling Arthur inherited from his mother and it helped him as a writer.
During his school years he read very much, and he often told his school friends long and interesting stories, getting cakes and sweets. After finishing school Conan Doyle became a student of the medical faculty in the University of Edinburgh. In his third year of studies he went as a ship’s doctor to the Arctic and after graduating from the University, he again went by ship to Western Africa.
He began his medical practice in a small English town Southsea, where he spent eight years. Here in 1887, he published his first detective story “A Study in Scarlet”. Its main characters were Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and they became the most popular characters of great many of Conan Doyle’s stories. “A Scandal in Bohemia” opened a collection of detective stories under the title “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”.
The story was published in 1891 and soon after that Baker Street became the well-known address of Sherlock Holmes. The readers asked for more and more stories about Sherlock Holmes and for two years Conan Doyle wrote them. When he had written about twenty stories with Sherlock Holmes as the main detective, he was so tired of these stories that he decided “to kill Sherlock Holmes”. He wrote a story, which he named “Holmes’s Last Case” (1893). In this story Holmes was killed during the struggle with Professor Moriarty. The writer hoped that after that he could begin writing other book. But the readers did not wish to lose their favourite character, and ten years later the famous detective appeared again.
In 1901 one of Conan Doyle’s best stories “The Hound of the Baskervilles” was published. Conan Doyle gave up his medical work in 1891 and devoted all his time to his literary activity. He also travelled much. He visited Europe, the USA and Egypt. In Norway he met Jerome K. Jerome, whom wrote about this fact in one on his book. Besides detective stories, Conan Doyle also wrote historical novels, war books and anticolonial books. His two fantastic stories “The Lost World” (1912) and “The Poisoned Belt” (1913) were quite successful. All his life Conan Doyle liked sports; he skied, played golf and went in for boxing. He died in 1930. After his death, the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, together with his friend Dr. Watson, continued to be among the favourite characters of English literature and tourists coming to London always go to visit Baker Street to see the house where Sherlock Holmes lived.