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Friday, January 28, 2022

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, from Doctor to Detective Storyteller

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle’s backstory

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh 22 May 1859. He was the second child of Charles Altamont Doyle and Mary Foley Doyle. Charles is a fairly successful artist but also an alcoholic. Because of his passion for alcohol; by the time Arthur was 5 years old his family had to be dispersed. Charles died of illness in 1893.

Meanwhile, Mary was a woman who loved books; and was good at reading fairy tales to her children and was well educated. This fairy tale read by his mother gave good memories to little Arthur in the midst of his family’s unfavorable economic condition.

When he was nine years old, little Doyle received an offer from one of his wealthy family members to attend the Jesuit Boarding School. Despite not liking the harsh education system at the school, he managed to complete his education and graduate at the age of seventeen. Arthur then continued his education at Stonyhurst College until 1875.

Med School, and unforeseeable future of the famed storyteller

He then attended Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria, in 1875-1876. After graduating from Stella Matutina, on the advice of Dr Bryan Charles Waller, he continued his education at the University of Edinburgh School of Medicine. He earned his Bachelor of Medicine and then a specialist in 1881.

During his studies in Edinburgh, Doyle was amazed by the ability of Doctor Joseph Bell in diagnosing a patient’s illness; through detailed observation of the patient’s condition. From this figure, he got the inspiration to create Sherlock Holmes. A cold detective, logical, but full of calculations.

Holmes first appeared under the title ‘A Study in Scarlet’; which was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual of 1887. A second novel about Holmes was published three years later under the title The Sign of the Four. For Doyle, Holmes himself is a figure who preoccupies his mind from positive things, so that he had time to think about “killing” his character. But through a letter sent by his mother, Doyle did not do so. To avoid the publisher’s request, Doyle also increased fees and royalties for the novel. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of the readers kept the publishers compliant with Doyle’s requirements.

In December 1893, through the short story The Final Problem, Doyle killed Holmes and his main enemy, Professor James Moriarty. However, this made the public angry. Doyle also brought back Holmes in the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, published in 1901. In 1903, Doyle again wrote a short story entitled The Adventure of the Empty House. Through this short story, Doyle tells that only Moriarty died. By 1927, Doyle had written a total of 56 short stories and four novels about the adventures of Holmes.

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