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.
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.”
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“.
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.
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.
- Another Book for my Collection (awesomebooksforlife.wordpress.com)
- #Checkout# : Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories (humorous4ojo1.wordpress.com)
- Holmes scholar files suit to put Sherlock unambiguously into the public domain (boingboing.net)
- ‘Sherlock’ season 3: The first episode is… (insidetv.ew.com)
- Researching Sherlock Holmes (cuppacozy.wordpress.com)
- The Man Who Would Free Sherlock Holmes (businessweek.com)
- Elementary mistakes in new Sherlock series (stuff.co.nz)
- Arthur Conan Doyle Estate Now Being Sued to Settle Whether Sherlock Holmes is in the Public Domain (the-digital-reader.com)
- DC Histories: Sherlock Holmes (ifanboy.com)
- Sherlok Holmes: Legal Thriller at the Intersection of Copyright and Trademark Law (governancexborders.com)