Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Facts About the Creator of Sherlock Holmes

Here are some facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a Scottish writer and doctor, born in May 1859 in Edinburgh. He is best known for creating the world’s most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.

  • He studied medicine for several years at the University of Edinburgh. Doyle later worked as a doctor on a Greenland whaling ship and a surgeon on a ship sailing to West Africa.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started writing short stories in his late teens.
  • The first Sherlock Holmes story,  A Study in Scarlet, was published in an 1886 magazine.
  • Sherlock Holmes, was based on a professor at Doyle’s university, Joseph Bell.
  • Doyle also wrote other books and short stories, including 3 Professor Challenger novels.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Arthur Conan Doyle was more successful as a writer than as a doctor. His first medical partnership was a failure and when he set up his own eye care practice, he had no patients.
  • Doyle was interested in spiritualism and was a member of the ‘Ghost Club’. He believed that a photograph of fairies was real, and that the magician Houdini had supernatural powers.
  • He was a skilled golfer, footballer and cricketer. He was captain of his local golf club, and played in 10 first class matches for Marylebone Cricket Club.
  • Doyle twice ran for Parliament, but lost both times. He received a Knighthood for his writings on the Boer War, and he also helped to free two wrongly convicted men from prison.
  • At age 55, Doyle was too old to fight in World War I, so instead, he formed a battalion of volunteers. He also predicted the war with Germany several years before the war started.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died from a heart attack in July, 1930 and is buried in Minstead, Hampshire. There is a statue of Sherlock Holmes near his birthplace in Edinburgh.

What next? Discover some facts about other famous Victorians.

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