SHERLOCK HOLMES

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SIR CONAN DOYLE

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include fantasy and science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.

Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his work. His first significant piece, A Study in Scarlet, was taken by Ward Lock & Co on 20 November 1886. The piece appeared later that year in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual and received good reviews in The Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald. The story featured the first appearance of Watson and Sherlock Holmes, partially modelled after his former university teacher Joseph Bell.18263604-a-magnifying-glass-being-used-to-inspect-the-bloody-evidence-of-a-crime-scene

Conan Doyle wrote to him, “It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes… Round the centre of deduction and inference and observation which I have heard you inculcate I have tried to build up a man.”

Other authors sometimes suggest additional influences—for instance, the famous Edgar Allan Poe character C. Auguste Dupin.

A sequel to A Study in Scarlet was commissioned and The Sign of the Four appeared in Lippincott’s Magazine in February 1890.  Short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes were published in the Strand Magazine

In December 1893, in order to dedicate more of his time to what he considered his more important works (his historical novels), Conan Doyle had Holmes and Professor Moriarty apparently plunge to their deaths together down the Reichenbach Falls in the story “The Final Problem“.537747-tn_business003

Public outcry, however, led him to bring the character back in 1901, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, though this was set at a time before the Reichenbach incident.

In 1903, Conan Doyle published his first Holmes short story in ten years, The Adventure of the Empty House“, in which it was explained that only Moriarty had fallen; but since Holmes had other dangerous enemies—especially Colonel Sebastian Moran—he had arranged to also be perceived as dead.Detective_1

Holmes ultimately was featured in a total of 56 short stories and four Conan Doyle novels, and has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors.

Jane Stanford compares some of Moriarty’s characteristics to those of the Fenian John O’Connor Power. ‘The Final Problem’ was published the year the Second Home Rule Bill passed through the House of Commons. ‘The Valley of Fear’ was serialised in 1914, the year, Home Rule, The Government of Ireland Act (Sept.18) was placed on the Statute Book.

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