Arthur Conan Doyle''s work was overshadowed by the tremendous success of his portrayal of Detective Sherlock Holmes and that is why he had to, at some point in his career as a writer, set aside his tastes by writing to please a public that increasingly wanted more stories about the detective. Even so, Conan Doyle came to write novels of anticipation, history, horror, tales, poetry and a play, in addition to being one of the proponents of Spiritism on which he made several books and researched quite a lot during the last years of his life. Arthur Conan Doyle, though he did not found the police genre, was indeed a great promoter of this genre and also a source of inspiration for many other writers.
Biography Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, and died in Sussex, County of England, on July 7 1930. As you can see, he is a man between two centuries: forty-one years in the 19th and thirty in the 20th. And although much of his life, maturity and old age, takes place in the last century, he is essentially a personality tied to the19th century''s history and culture, whose influence also extends to the years prior to the First World War.
Brought up in the bosom of a cultured family, with literary and artistic interests, young Arthur studied at Stonyhurst before enrolling at the University of Edinburgh where he continued his career in medicine. It is interesting to note that his pre-university education met him at a Jesuit College; like his contemporary Chesterton, he belonged to a family of Catholic roots. It should be noted that in Britain, a Protestant majority country, being Catholic was (and is) almost an originality, an exception. And as for Chesterton, Catholicism in minority used to produce an attitude more progressive and liberal within the orthodoxy than the one developed in countries of Catholic tradition.In the case of Conan Doyle, this Catholic education seems to have produced an attitude of religious alienation, probably due to the classical iron discipline of the Jesuits. In his books there is not a clearly anti-religious position.
Although he already had a fondness to write, Conan Doyle opts for a career in science, Medicine. He registers at the University of Edinburgh, where some of his teachers partially inspired the nature of his main characters, Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger. After some practices and travelling by sea as a doctor of the Merchant Navy
, Conan Doyle provides surgery in Southsea
, between 1882 and 1890. In early 1891 he left the profession to devote himself entirely to literature.
In 1897 he falls in love with a twenty years old young woman, Jean Leckie
, who possessed a beautiful mezzo-soprano voice.
In 1898 Conan Doyle participated as a doctor in the campaign in Sudan
(1898). In 1900 he moved to South Africa
to serve as field doctor in the war of the Boers
. On August 9, 1902, he is knighted at Buckingham Palace
and becomes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
His wife Louise
died four years later and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is immersed in a period of deep depression, from which he recovered to marry the young Jean Leckie, whom he was in love long ago.
In 1907, using the deductive methods employed in his stories, he refutes the charges against the young George Edalji
, accused of having mutilated several horses and sentenced to 7 years in prison, demonstrates his innocence and achieves his release. In 1916, his son Kingsley
is severely wounded in combat and dies two years later, victim of the Spanish flu. This same year he reveals to the magazine Light his spiritualistic faith.
In the autumn of 1929, after a lecture tour of Scandinavian countries, he feels very tired and emerges angina pectoris.
On 7 July 1930, he died in Sussex at the age of 71.