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Arthur Conan Doyle

Term Definition
Arthur Conan Doyle

At the time that he wrote his stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, Doyle's works were considered highly innovative within the genre of crime fiction. In particular, Sherlock Holmes has a very distinctive method for cracking cases: he is a genius at deductive logic. Instead of relying on intuition, chance, or other methods, Doyle thus carefully framed stories in such a way that all the relevant clues were clearly present but hidden at the same time.

Introducing the master of mystery

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born twenty-second second of May of 1859 in Scotland. He was, not only an esteemed writer, but a physician. Arthur Conan Doyle was a fruitful writer who composed work in crime fiction, adventure fiction, plays, fantasy and science fiction stories, romance novels, non-fiction, and history. As a child, he was supported by wealthy uncles and was educated at a Jesuit preparatory school called Hodder Place. Doyle later attended Stonyhurst College before learning at the Stella Matutina school in Austria. Though his parents raised him Catholic, after receiving his education, he rejected religion and instead became an agnostic. Later in life, he would become a spiritual mystic.

Sherlock Holmes and other works 

Perhaps the best known of Arthur Conan Doyle’s work is the Sherlock Holmes series. The first of the Sherlock Homes books was titled A Study in Scarlet and was published in 1886. In total, Doyle would write four Sherlock Holmes novels and publish five volumes of short stories that can often be found all together, called The Complete Sherlock Holmes. 

Doyle’s other works include The Mystery of Cloomber and The Narrative of John Smith, his first novels, which were inspired by his time at sea. He wrote seven historical novels between the years of 1888 and 1906. His second most popular character was Professor Challenger, who was featured in nine novels, five stories, and two novels. Arthur Conan Doyle also spent time during the end of the nineteenth century writing stage work.

Putting pen to paper

Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing typically has a few of the same characteristics. First of all, his work always flows in chronological order due to hi linear style. Though in Sherlock Holmes, Watson reflects on the past, he recalls past events in the order that they occurred. This writing style allows the story to remain a mystery, increasing its allure. The second style found in most Doyle works is his effusive sentence structure. Often times, his sentences are wordy and flowery. Doyle also tends to use parallel structure in addition to repeating clauses.

Arthur Conan Doyle's started as a doctor

Arthur Conan Doyle was also known for being a physician. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School between 1876 and 1881. He worked as a doctor on the Greenland whaler ship Hope of Perterhead for a period in 1880. When he graduated in 1881, he was employed as a surgeon on the SS Mayumba.

A year later, he would open his own independent practice in Elm Grove, Southsea. While waiting for patients in his slow-to-grow practice, he began to write his fiction. By 1890, Doyle was studying ophthalmology in Vienna before moving to London.  There, he set up a medical practice as an ophthalmologist at Number 2 Upper Wimpole Street. At this address, a Westminster Council plaque still hangs over the front door today.

Perhaps not as well known about Arthur Conan Doyle is that while living in Southsea, he played goalkeeper for the Portsmouth Association Football Club under the pseudonym A.C. Smith. In addition to football, he also was a talented cricket player and played for the Marylebone Cricket Club, where he played ten first-class matches. In 1910, he was elected captain of his golf club, the Crowborough Beacon Golf Club. He even won a first-class bowling wicket of the highest pedigree- the W.G. Grace. 

Though Arthur Conan Doyle is well known for Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger, he completed works in fantasy, science fiction, plays, romance novels, non-fiction, and history. While he is an accomplished author, he also was also a gifted physician will an extensive medical career and education, in addition to being a talented athlete. Though history usually shines the spotlight on his contributions to the  literary world, Arthur Conan Doyle was clearly a smart man with many talents.

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