Monday 22nd May marks 158 years since the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He’s one of our favourite authors and we wanted to write a blog post to celebrate his brilliant stories. Doyle wrote many fantastic novels throughout his career, but his most famous were the ones concerning the adventures and investigations of Detective Sherlock Holmes. We’re such big fans that we have a number of prints featuring his quotes!
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to Charles and Mary Doyle. He described his mother as a brilliant storyteller and a huge inspiration in his talent and desire for writing. At nine years old, Doyle moved to England to complete seven years of education at a prestigious boarding school. Doyle mostly despised school but found solace in writing to his mother and playing cricket.
Doyle chose not to pursue a creative career, and instead chose to study medicine at Edinburgh University. It was here that he met one of his teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell - a man with an innate desire for logic, answers, and diagnosis. The inspiration behind Detective Sherlock Holmes.
Doyle penned a few short stories throughout his studies and early career as a doctor, all of which were greeted positively by critics at the time. As time progressed, he achieved literary success, a solid medical career, and a wonderful family life with his first wife and their children. Doyle ended his medical career to focus solely on writing, his true passion, a short while later after recovering from influenza that nearly killed him.
Doyle flitted between genre, but his books were nearly always successful. What he wrote depended largely on what was happening in his personal life and his state of mind. Doyle focused on spiritual writing after the death of his first wife, and again years later, after his son passed in WW1. There was also the numerous works of fiction, and his factual writings where he too would play detective and tackle real life injustices.
Doyle lived an exciting, fruitful, sometimes tragic life and experienced more than many from his time. He died July 1930 surrounded by his family. His last words were to his second wife, where he whispered, ‘you are wonderful’.