Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


5/22/1859, Edinburgh, Scotland



Birth Name

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle



Also Known As

Arthur Conan Doyle
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Arthur Conan Doyle was a Scottish doctor based in London who turned to writing. As well as the detective stories of Sherlock Holmes, he wrote historical novels. He was also one of the most prominent supporters of spiritualism.


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • The inscription on his gravestone reads:

    • He ran twice for election to the British House of Commons, standing as a Liberal Unionist candidate, but was not elected.

    • In 1902, he was knighted and appointed as a deputy Lord Lieutenant of the county of Surrey.

    • He wrote a pamphlet called The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct to explain the actions of the British Empire in the Boer War, which had generally been condemned around the world.

    • Doyle studied ophthalmology in Vienna for much of 1890, and the next year he set up an unsuccessful practice in London as an ophthalmologist, which he had to abandon for lack of patients.

    • He had two children with his first wife, Mary and Kingsley, then three more with his second, Jean, Denis, and Adrian.

    • In 1885 he married Louisa Hawkins, who died of tuberculosis in 1906. Doyle then married Jean Leckie, in 1907.

    • In the 1880s, Doyle worked as a ship's doctor, then he began to practice in Southsea, on the south coast of England. While there, he helped to set up Portsmouth AFC, the neighbouring city's first soccer club. There is even a myth that Doyle was the club's first goal-keeper, but in fact he played for an amateur team.

    • Sherlock Holmes was modeled on Doyle's old teacher at Edinburgh University, Professor Joseph Bell, and soon after Holmes's first appearance in a story, Rudyard Kipling wrote to Doyle "Could this be my old friend, Dr Joe?"

    • Doyle's first really successful story was A Study in Scarlet, published in Beeton's Christmas Annual, 1887. This introduced a new detective called Sherlock Holmes.

    • In 1882, he established his first doctor's practice in the English sea-port of Plymouth.

    • His first job in the field of medicine was as a ship's doctor on a voyage to West Africa.

    • Doyle was educated at the Jesuit school Stonyhurst, then at the University of Edinburgh, where he studied medicine.

  • Quotes

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: There was a lady at Santarem - but my lips are sealed. It is the part of a gallant man to say nothing.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: It's every man's business to see justice done.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Some eighty thousand years are supposed to have existed between paleolithic and neolithic man. Yet in all that time he only learned to grind his flint stones instead of chipping them... Ten years now go further than a thousand then, not so much on account of our finer intellects as because the light we have shows us the way to more. Primeval man stumbled along with peering eyes, and slow, uncertain footsteps. Now we walk briskly towards our unknown goal.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The memory of a great age is the most precious treasure that a nation can possess.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Women are never to be entirely trusted, not the best of them.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Dear girl, fly with me! Be mine! Share with me the wild free life of a barrister!

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love-story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Man, or at least criminal man, has lost all enterprise and originality.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Crime is common. Logic is rare.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The weak man becomes strong when he has nothing, for then only can he feel the wild, mad thrill of despair.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I have my own views about Nature's methods, though I feel that it is rather like a beetle giving his opinions upon the Milky Way.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Just see how it glints and sparkles! Of course it is a nucleus and focus of crime. Every good stone is.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Circumstantial evidence is a very tricky thing. It may seem to point very straight to one thing, but if you shift your own point of view a little, you may find it pointing in an equally uncompromising manner to something entirely different.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: My instincts are all against a woman being too frank and at her ease with me. It is no compliment to a man. Where the real sex feeling begins, timidity and distrust are its companions, heritage from old wicked days when love and violence went often hand in hand.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Like all other arts, the science of deduction and analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Dear me, Watson, is it possible that you have not penetrated the fact that the case hangs upon the missing dumb-bell?

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: There is nothing as deceptive as an obvious fact.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: When you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

      "Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
      "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
      "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
      "That was the curious incident", remarked Sherlock Holmes.

      ( from 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes')

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: I can never bring you to realize the importance of sleeves, the suggestiveness of thumb-nails, or the great issues that may hang from a boot-lace.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: From a drop of water, a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge.

    • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.