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The Real Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Hardback)

The Creator of Sherlock Holmes

Military > Biographies Military > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > Literary Figures P&S History > Social History

By Andrew Norman
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399042055
Published: 8th August 2023



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In the year 1900, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was at the height of his success as a qualified doctor, keen sportsman, writer of historical novels, champion of the oppressed and, most notably, the creator of that honourable, fearless, and eminently sensible master-detective Sherlock Holmes.

Every new Holmes story was greeted with great anticipation and confidence in the knowledge that, however complex the crime, the supremely intelligent and logical detective would solve it. But in 1916 Conan Doyle surprised his readers by declaring that he believed in spiritualism. And when, in 1922, Doyle published a book in which he professed to believe in fairies, his devotees were nonplussed. How could the creator of the inexorably logical Sherlock Holmes claim to believe in something as vague, esoteric, and unproven as the paranormal?

In this fascinating study of the life of the creator of one of the greatest detectives of all time, Dr Andrew Norman traces the origin of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s strange beliefs. Can it be that Doyle’s alcoholic father holds the key to the unanswered questions about his son? What was Doyle’s involvement in the notorious ‘Cottingley Fairies’ affair?

By delving into medical records and the writings of Doyle himself, Dr Norman unravels a mystery as exciting as any of the cases embarked upon by the great Sherlock Holmes!

It's a very interesting book on life of the creator of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle. In this biography a reader can find unpublished so far letters, literary criticism and plenty of fascinating facts. The book is well-researched and well-written. A must for lovers of English literature.

NetGalley, Meg Gajda

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable read covering the creator of Sherlock Holmes and his life. Thoroughly researched and some interesting facts about sir Arthur Conan Doyle I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about sir Arthur Conan Doyle

NetGalley, Lional Jones

I have always loved reading anything and everything about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or his novels about Sherlock Holmes. This book really grasps the depth of his life and the genius writings of this beloved writer. Highly recommend!

NetGalley, Kay H

It has always been something of a mystery how someone as intelligent and accomplished as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ended his days being duped by a couple of Yorkshire schoolgirls into believing a number of clearly bogus pictures of fairies were real. By any measure, Conan Doyle was a very talented and successful man: a prolific author of fiction and non-fiction, a legal advocate, a qualified doctor, a political campaigner who played both football and cricket professionally and who also boxed, played golf and billiards very well. His towering achievement was, of course, the creation of great fictional Baker Street supersleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Although he was embarrassed by the levels of success this character achieved (Conan Doyle soon found he could come with the stories fairly easily), he can now justifiably described as the father of all modern detective fiction. Holmes's famous rule of thumb was always, "once you have eliminated the impossible then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer." although he added, " I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible." Sadly, in later life, an increasingly superstitious Conan Doyle grew increasingly reluctant to eliminate the impossible too.
This short biography helps to explain why.

NetGalley, Chris Hallam

As seen in 'Why Sherlock Holmes’s razor sharp creator embraced the paranormal'

Read the full article here!

The Express

It is fascinating to think of Conan Doyle creating such a logical, reasoning character as Sherlock Holmes while also being almost obsessed with seances, mediums and spiritualists. This book does a thorough job of exploring such facets of the man while also reflecting on his family history and upbringing. Really interesting and well written.

NetGalley, Louise Gray
 Andrew Norman

About Andrew Norman

Andrew Norman was born in Newbury, Berkshire, UK in 1943. He was educated in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Midsomer Norton Grammar School, Somerset, UK, and St Edmund Hall, Oxford.
Andrew worked as a general practitioner in Poole, Dorset, before a spinal injury cut short his medical career. He is now an established writer with biographies of Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Thomas Hardy, T. E. Lawrence, Adolf Hitler, Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Beatrix Potter, Marilyn Monroe, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to his name.

Author Arthur Conan Doyle (26) weds Louisa Hawkins

5th August 1885

Author Arthur Conan Doyle (26) weds Louisa Hawkins

Author Arthur Conan Doyle (48) weds Jean Elizabeth Leckie

18th September 1907

Author Arthur Conan Doyle (48) weds Jean Elizabeth Leckie

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