A. Conan Doyle (1859—1930)
With the words "Elementary, my dear Watson ...", the most famous detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes, starts to explain a crime to his friend, Dr. Watson. That phrase has now entered the English language.
Sherlock Holmes first appeared in a book called 'Study in Scarlet'. He became famous in 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', first published in the 'Strand Magazine'. After that came a whole series of books about him: 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, 'The Return of Sherlock Holmes', 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', and many others. Many thousands of the Sherlock Holmes books are still sold every year.
Who invented Sherlock Holmes? Arthur Conan Doyle was his inventor. Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Scotland, of Irish parents. He was a doctor. In 1882 he moved from Scotland to England, to Southsea near Portsmouth, to set up a practice. One of the doctors he worked for, Dr. Joseph Bell, was the model for Sherlock Holmes's friend, Dr. Watson. Conan Doyle's medical knowledge was a great help to him in his detective stories.
Conan Doyle started the fashion of the detective story. Today the fashion goes on — with Simenon's Inspector Maigret stories and the stories of other writers.
And what sort of man is Sherlock Holmes? We learn a lot about him from the stories in which he appears. He has a thin face and intelligent eyes. He speaks when he has something to say. He smokes a pipe (he has a collection of them). He plays the violin. He lives at 221 'B' Baker Street in London.
If you go to London, you will not be able to find 221 'B' Baker Street. But instead, you can go to a pub called "The Sherlock Holmes" in Northumberland Street (near Trafalgar Square). In that pub there is a room like Sherlock Holmes's room at 221 'B' Baker Street, as described in Conan Doyle's stories. There is also the stuffed head of a hound. It is said to be the original 'hound of the Baskervilies'!
Sherlock Holmes after more than eighty years is still the most famous detective in the world.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the novelist, first created his famous character, Sherlock Holmes, in 1885. Six years later, when he wrote another group of stories about the detective, Sherlock Holmes was a name that everybody knew.
When Conan Doyle began to get tired of writing detective stories, he decided to 'kill' Holmes. He wrote a story in which Holmes meets his great enemy, Professor Moriarty, in Switzerland. Holmes and Moriarty fight, and fall over a cliff and are both killed. The public didn't like it. Conan Doyle had to write another story in which Holmes comes back.
Conan Doyle was a famous writer. He became popular because of his love for people.