Perhaps it was good for me that the times were hard, for I was wild, full-blooded and a trifle reckless, but the situation called for energy and application, so that one was bound to try to meet it. My mother had been so splendid that we could not fail her. It had been determined that I should be a doctor -- chiefly, I think, because Edinburgh was so famous a centre for medical learning.
Such realism was a long way from the fantastical tales in which Arthur had hitherto specialized. But his literary career needed a boost.If he could find a distinctive way of portraying science's battle against crime, he would surely find an audience.
In Edinburgh, where Walter Sott is commemorated with a towering Gothic monument, Conan Doyle's birthplace is marked by a statue of his fictional detective. The White Company and Sir Nigel, the books Conan Doyle regarded as his finest work, are seldom read. Conan Doyle's portrait is not currently displayed at London's National Portrait Gallery.
The remarkable friendship which existed between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini is nowhere so well exemplified as in their letters to each other wherein each man taxed the other's credulity to the utmost in asking him to believe the statements he made. Doyle would narrate a series of phenomenal happenings, which Houdini rejected; Houdini would put forward a series of "explanations" which Doyle similarly rejected.
Sherlock Holmes has taken on a life beyond the stories written by Conan Doyle. Many other writers have produced Sherlock Holmes stories, most notably Nicholas Meyer, beginning with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. More movies have been made about Holmes than any other character, real or historical.
Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in 'A Study of Scarlet', published in 'Beeton's Christmas Annual' in 1887. Its success encouraged Conan Doyle to write more stories involving Holmes but, in 1893, Conan Doyle killed off Holmes, hoping to concentrate on more serious writing. A public outcry later made him resurrect Holmes.
Conan Doyle studied at Edinburgh University and helped to fund his course by working as a surgeon on Hope, a 400 ton whaler on a seven month voyage to the Arctic. The following year he worked on Mayumba, a passenger ship bound for West Africa. On this voyage Conan Doyle nearly died of typhoid.
In Holmes, Doyle created a detective who used observation and logic to solve crimes, which Doyle had patterned after a real-life Scotland Yard detective. For this, Doyle is credited with creating the investigative detective. Sherlock Holmes would also appear in 56 short stories and three other novels, "The Sign of Four" (1890), "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1902), and "The Valley of Fear" (1915).
Doyle was married to Louise Hawkins in 1885, and had two children with her; she was seriously ill 8 years later and died in 1900. Doyle married again to Jean Leckie in 1907, and fathered three more children. Following his first wife's death, and eager to witness the Boer War, Doyle sailed for South Africa as doctor and unofficial diplomat, and eventually wrote a definitive account called The Great Boer War.
Doyle's well-known interest in spiritualism (which became rather pronounced in his later years, to put it delicately, to say nothing of his belief in fairies) led him to write some supernaturalist works as well; in this straddling of the gap between the ratiocinative and the supernatural, Doyle shares much with Edgar Allan Poe