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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meet Sherlock Holmes - Doyle

I proposed a non-credit course on Sherlock Holmes to the University of Texas when I lived in Austin. It almost came off. So, this is a general overview of Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with some interesting tidbits thrown in. And, we're off.

Arthur Conan Doyle
Ø       His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was an illustrator who spent much of his latter life in mental asylums.
Doyle’s father provided some terrible drawings for the first stand-alone edition of A Study in Scarlet, the first Holmes story.
Ø       Doyle created Sherlock Holmes while waiting for patients at his doctor office. Business was terribly slow.
Ø       Doyle always felt that Holmes was a lesser work and kept him from better things. He believed that his historical fiction was going to be his legacy.
“He keeps me from better things” quote.
Ø      Doyle wrote total of 56 short stories and 4 novels featuring Sherlock Holmes, plus two short parodies. Those 60 stories are referred to as ‘The Canon.’ Holmes stories written by other authors are known as “pastiches” and have been ongoing for over a hundred years.
Ø      He received a knighthood in 1902 for his detailed history of the Boer War.
1902 also happened to be the year that Doyle revived Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Did that play a part in the awarding of the knighthood?

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