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Biography of Sherlock Holmes's Creator, Arthur Conan Doyle

Updated on June 19, 2013
A marker11 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, Scotland -
11 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH1, UK
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Birth place of Arthur Conan Doyle

Life of Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22nd, 1859 at 11 Picardy Place in Edinburgh, Scotland.

He first went to Stonyhurt College from 1870-1875, and later went to the University of Edinburgh. While sudying medicine at the University of Edinburgh from 1876-1881, he began writing short stories.

His earliest short story was titled, "The Haunted Grange of Goresthrope" but was unsucessfully published. His first published story was "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley" which was printed on September 6th, 1879.

After Doyle graduated from the university, he was employed on a whaling ship, Hope of Peterhead, as a doctor. Then later, in 1881, he took a job as a ship's surgon on the SS Mayumba.

After he left the job as a surgeon, he partnered with his former peer, George Turnavine Budd, and established a medicine practice in Plymouth. Soon after though, he left to start his own practice.

After he opened his own practice in June of 1882, he wrote short stories while waiting for patients. During this time, he composed his first two novels, The Mystery of Cloomber (which was published in 1888) and the unfinished Narritive of John Smith (published in 2011).

While struggling to balance a medical and writing career, he was struck with influenza in 1891. After he recovered, he realized he was foolish to try to do both and decided to end his medical career to do writing full time.

In 1885, he married his first wife Louisa Hawkins. Together, they had 2 children. But, in 1897, he met and fell in love with a woman named Jean Elizabeth Leckie. He stayed loyal to his wife until she died of tuberculosis in 1906. A year later, he married Jean and had 3 children with her.

In 1900, he volunteered himself as a doctor during the Boer War and went to Africa. Then, when he came back, he ran for a seat in Central Edinburgh.

Arthur Doyle died in 1930 on July 7th. He suffered a heart attack and was found clutching his heart. His last words were directed to his wife and were "You are wonderful!"

A drawing of the infamous Sherlock Holmes.
A drawing of the infamous Sherlock Holmes. | Source

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes was first introduced in A Study in Scarlet in 1887. It is said that Sherlock Holmes is created from one of Arthur Conan Doyle's teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell.

During the time between 1887 and 1891, Sherlock Holmes grew very popular. But, Arthur Conan Doyle grew tired of writing about him and he so he wrote to his mother saying how he was thinking of killing Sherlock Holmes. Which he did. In The Final Problem, Arthur Conan Doyle "killed" Sherlock Holmes. This didn't sit very well to the public and they let it be known. So much that Doyle brought back Sherlock Holmes from the dead.

Total, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 54 short stories and 4 novels about the infamous Sherlock Holmes. Certainly a character we will never forget.

Fun Facts about Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Arthur Conan Doyle believed in the Cottingley fairy hoax.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle ran (and lost) for Parliament 2 times.
  • In 1902, Arthur Conan Doyle was knighted for his propoganda writing.
  • While Doyle was in school, he was an amazing cricket player.


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    • everymom profile image

      Anahi Pari-di-Monriva 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love Sherlock Holmes mysteries! Thanks for writing this!