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In the late nineteenth century, a clever detective named Sherlock Holmes along with his loyal friend Dr. Watson, were introduced to the reading public via a novel entitled, A Study in Scarlet. Since then, generations of readers have enjoyed traveling through the intriguing plots of dozens of Sherlock Holmes stories.

Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in May of 1859. He was one of ten children born to parents Charles and Mary Doyle. Arthur Conan Doyle’s father worked as a civil servant, but the family struggled financially. After her husband began having serious health problems, Mary opened up a boarding house to help bring in additional money to cover expenses. Arthur found pleasure in writing from a young age, composing many short stories. Doyle enrolled at Edinburgh University in the early 1880’s where he studied medicin. He graduated as a doctor in 1885 and married his first wife, Louisa Hawkins. He continued writing as he practiced medicine, was even able to have a short story published. Arthur kept his focus on medicine, opening a practice with another doctor shortly before going off on his own. However, he did not give up on writing, and composed a titled A Study in Scarlet, which was the debut of Sherlock Holmes. The character of Holmes was based on a college professor who Doyle had admired. Unbeknownst to Doyle, A Study in Scarlet would open the doors of success for him as an author and make himself, as well as his character, a part of literary history.

Doyle’s stories quickly attracted loyal readers from all across the globe. Some of his most notable stories featuring Sherlock Holmes are: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Doyle did compose works which were not about the world famous sleuth. Such titles include: The Lost World, The Land of Mist, and The Great Boer War. Howeer, Sherlock Holmes remained Doyle’s best known work. At one point, Doyle became so tired of the Holmes character that he “murdered” Holmes in his work The Final Problem. This decision was not well received by the devoted fans of Sherlock Holmes, who were appalled at the character’s death. The outcry was so large, it prompted Doyle to revive the character.

Since his appearance in 1887, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has becom the archetypal detective character, and has been the inspiration behind a countless number of similar characters who use deductive reasoning to solve mysteries. In short, Doyle created the template for the consummate detective. Arthur Conan Doyle died in July of 1930 leaving behind an enduring character that serves as the model for many of today’s fictional detectives.

For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle, please visit:

Arthur Conan Doyle

 Sherlock Holmes

 Teaching Sherlock Holmes

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