Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay Research Paper

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Essay, Research Paper

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was more than just an author. He was a knight, a

soldier, a spiritualist, a whaler, a doctor, a journalist, and most of all, he

was adventurous. He was not the quiet type of person, so he enjoyed

expressing himself. Arthur Conan Doyle was born on the 22nd of May

1859 in Picardy Place, Edinburgh. The second child of Charles Altamont

and Mary Foley, he was thought t have been named after the legendary

medieval king, Arthur, of the Round Table. Doyle was also named after his

granduncle, Michael Edward Conan. He was a descendant of the Irish, and

was of the Roman Catholic religion. Doyle had a grandfather, John Doyle.

He was political cartoonist, who, financially supported the family.1 Doyle

had a pretty rough home life because his father was an alcoholic. As he

grew up, Doyle had to take more of the responsibilities around the house

into his own hands, because his father was either too sick or drunk to

fulfill his daily work at home. Doyle?s mother, Mary Foley, was a

homemaker who took care of her son Arthur and his brothers and sisters,

and also worked and cleaned the house everyday.2 Doyle?s early

education started when he was about seven years old. His mother spent

lots of time reading with him and tutoring him, because this is what she

thought he needed to become a cultured gentleman. When Doyle was ten

years old he left home and went to the Jesuit Preparatory school named

Hodder House. This was a boarding school for young boys. Arthur hated

this school. Doyle once stated that Hodder House “was a little more

pleasant than being confined in a prison.” While attending Hodder House,

he studied chemistry, poetry, geometry, arithmetic, and grammar. After

his experiences at Jesuit Preparatory school, he left and applied for

Stonyhurst Academy. Doyle was accepted for enrollment into Stonyhurst

and remained there for about five more years. While at Stonyhurst,

Doyle, who excelled in cricket, demonstrated some very early signs of

literary talent. At the academy, he became quite good at telling stories

and reading aloud.3 Doyle started reading his old favorite books from his

childhood. His favorite childhood writer was Mayne Reid, who wrote The

Scalp Hunters. This was his favorite book while he was progressing

through life.4 During his last year before attending medical school, Doyle

went to Feldkirch, a school in Austria. While attending Feldkirch, he began

to question his faith in the Roman Catholic religion.5 Doyle decided finally

to become a doctor and went to Edinburgh University. While attending the

university Doyle met a Dr. Joseph Bell, upon whom the character Sherlock

Holmes was based. Also, he met the anatomist Professor Rutherford, who

was eventually made into the model for Professor Challenger in Arthur

Conan Doyle?s writings.6 While at Edinburgh University, Doyle took a

part-time job helping out another doctor. This was only one of the many

jobs that he had while he was a learning pupil during his school time.7 For

one of his assignments as a paid student at Edinburgh University, he

became the doctor on a whaling ship in the Arctic Ocean during a

seven-month voyage. When he returned to the University after his long

trip, Doyle received his Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1881. After his

graduation, Doyle decided to go back and make a second voyage as a

whaling ship?s doctor in the Arctic Ocean. While on the second voyage, he

nearly died of a high fever.8 When Doyle left Edinburgh University, he told

his family that he had changed his religion, and was no longer of the

Catholic faith.9 Doyle began his writing career and the public loved his

first professional work. The editor of the Cornhill Magazine approved of

the story and the author, accepting the story Habakuk Jephson?s

Statement for publication. Arthur Conan Doyle?s Sherlock Holmes novels

were huge successes in North America.10 The people enjoyed them so

much that Doyle wrote even more novels for the United States to publish,

such as The Sign of Four. Doyle?s first short story to be published was

The Mystery of Sasassa Valley in 1879.11 While he paid more attention

to his writing than his medical career, Doyle continued to practice

medicine for about two years. It was during this time that he met his

soon-to-be wife, Louise Hawkins,12 when her brother was diagnosed with

an incurable disease, cerebral meningitis. Jack, Louise?s brother, died a

couple of days later. Louise and Doyle were married several months later.

Louise?s nickname was “Touie,” one of the names Doyle later used in his

famous novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. The marriage lasted from

1885 until Louise?s death from tuberculosis in August of 1906. While

Doyle was married to Louise, they had one daughter, Mary Louise, born in

1889, and one son Alleyne Kingsley, born in 1902.13 After Louise?s

death, Doyle never talked about his wife or their long lasting marriage. A

year or so after her death, Doyle met a woman by the name of Jean

Leckie, who would soon be his second wife. Jean and Doyle met when they

ran into each other on the street. In 1907, they were married.14 His

inspiration to write even more in his spare time was brought on by his

marriage. Shortly after their marriage, Doyle?s father, Charles, was

confined inside a nursing home in London, England because of alcoholism

and epilepsy. Jean Leckie and Doyle had three children, a son, Denis Percy

Stewart born in 1909, another son, Adrian Malcolm born in 1910, and a

daughter, Lena Jean Annette born in 1912.15 In 1883, The Captain of the

Pole Star was published, as well as some other minor pieces he had

written. Doyle was working on The Mystery of Cloomber. In 1884, Doyle

published J. Habakuk Jephson?s Statement, The Heiress of Glenmahowley,

and The Cabman?s Story.16 After all of these books and stories were

published, Doyle began to work on another piece called The Firm of

Girdlestone. In 1885, Doyle published another story, The Man from

Archangel. He then traveled with Jean to Ireland for their honeymoon.17

After writing all of these stories, he finally became involved in writing all

of his Sherlock Holmes novels and other short stories. The first Sherlock

Holmes novel was A Study in Scarlet in 1887, which was a great

accomplishment in the United States. The second Sherlock Holmes novel

was The Sign of the Four. In 1888, the first book edition of A Study in

Scarlet was published by Ward Lock. In December, The Mystery of

Cloomber was published.18 The Holmes stories became so popular that

people actually pictured Sherlock Holmes as an imaginary fairy tale super

hero.19 After twelve short stories and two series of Sherlock Holmes

novels, Doyle made an important decision to kill off Sherlock Holmes in

the novel The Final Problem, published in 1883. About ten years after

Sherlock Holmes “died”, Doyle wrote The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

This was published in sections at a time in The Strand magazine in

1903.20 Some of Arthur Conan Doyle?s later writings consisted of two

medical short story collections, Round the Red Lamp and Round the Fire

Stories. In 1894, a fictional autobiography, The Stark Munro Letters, was

published in 1894.21 The Parasite and The Medal Brigadier Gerard were

published in The Strand magazine in 1894. The very famous Arthur Conan

Doyle novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, was published different

sections at a time in The Strand magazine in 1901. Conan Doyle wrote a

true autobiography, Memories and Adventures in 1924. Arthur?s last

published book; Edge of the Unknown, was published in 1930.22 World

travel played a big role in the backgrounds for Doyle?s stories and novels.

The Doyle family visited Berlin, Germany in 1890 to investigate

bacteriologist Robert Koch?s claim to have possibly have found the cure

for tuberculosis. In 1892, the Doyles traveled to Norway, where Conan

Doyle went skiing for the first time. Shortly after this trip, Doyle helps

introduce the sport of snow skiing in Switzerland.23 In 1895, Doyle and

his wife traveled to Egypt for the winter season. A doctor told them that

she would benefit from the therapeutic surrey air. Then they traveled up

the Nile River to Sudan, an East African country. This trip later provided

the background for The Tragedy of Korosko. They traveled to South

Africa during the Boer War in 1900, because Doyle was acting as a war

correspondent. While in South Africa, Doyle published a novel called The

Great Boer War in 1900. Then other short stories appeared in Cornhill

Magazine, such as Some Military Lessons of War, in 1900.24 Following

the end of the war, they returned home to Windlesham, Crowborough,

Sussex. About two years later, Doyle traveled to Buckingham Palace in

London to be knighted.25 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took his family to

Australia to spread the word about spiritualism.26 In 1926, The Land of

Mist was published. Doyle had officially declared himself a spiritualist. He

then wrote his first spiritualism book called The New Revelation, and a

two-volume history book about spiritualism. In 1927, the death of Mary

Foley Doyle, Arthur?s mother, touched the entire family.27 In 1929, The

Maracot Deep and other stories were published.28 This was Doyle?s last

collection of works and it was published in July, exactly one year before

his death.29 On July 7, 1930 at 8:30 A.M. the final tragedy struck. Sir

Arthur Conan Doyle died of a heart attack at his home in Windlesham,

Crowborough, weighing 243 pounds.30 He was survived by Jean Doyle and

their three children. His death greatly saddened the world and all of his

faithful followers. Although Doyle was a very clumsy person, he was still

a lover of sports, who played rugby and billiards like a paid professional.

Doyle was a person everyone had doubted would ever turn out to be

someone with a great deal of talent and use it to his ability. Doyle?s life

was similar to a mixture of all of his characters, because of his high

drama talent, energy by the truckload, and a very creative imagination.

Conan Doyle?s own story was also one of personal adventure. He was the

kind of man who never had too much fun and excitement. Julian Symons

once said in one of her books that Arthur probably died right in the middle

of writing another great collection of works. Doyle was one of the

world?s most topclass writers in his time. The story of Doyle reminds us

that we all have some adventure running through our veins and a

distinctive imagination inside our brains.


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