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Friday, January 28, 2011

Crime Fiction Alphabet 2011: C is Conan Doyle

It's almost impossible not to discuss Sir Arthur Conan Doyle when we're talking about detective novels. His character, Sherlock Holmes continue to mesmerize fan of mystery novel up until today. I'm not a huge fan of Sherlock though I really admire Conan Doyle for creating an unique character and interesting stories.

Arthur Conan Doyle born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1876, he studied medicine in University of Edinburgh,thus explain his extensive knowledge on medical term. While studying, Conan Doyle also began writing short stories; his first published story appeared in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal before he was 20.

He started to write Sherlock Holmes on his free time while opened a practice. His first work, A Study in Scarlet, featured the eccentric detective, Sherlock Holmes, released in 1887.
 Sherlock Holmes manage to capture the heart of mystery fans across England and the world, and thus made him famous. At some point, just like Agatha Christie felt annoyed with Hercule Poirot, Conan Doyle also felt the same about Sherlock, in his letter to his mother in 1891, he wrote: "I think of slaying Holmes ... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." and he did killed Sherlock in The Final Problem. But the crowd demanded him to bring Sherlock back and he was returning in The Hound of Baskervilles.

Not only continue to work in medic, Conan Doyle also an advocate of justice and investigated two closed cases by helping the falsely accused. The story of Conan Doyle and his 'client' was fictionalized in Julian Barnes novel, Arthur & George.

Many important people in his life passed away before him; his wife Louisa, his son Kingsley, his two brothers-in-law, and two nephews. These lead to depression and his interest toward spiritualism. His fascinated toward spiritualism lead to a disagreement with his friend, famous magician, Harry Houdini. Conan Doyle somehow believed that Houdini had surpassed the spiritual world while Houdini strictly said it's all merely a trick.

Conan Doyle dies at the age of 71, due to heart attack with his last words directed to his wife: "You are wonderful." Even though there were several controversies throughout his life, his fans continued to cherish his creation, especially Sherlock Holmes, even till today.



Kerrie said...

Thanks for thiws contribution to Crime Fiction Alphabet Lynossa

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