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"How'd you figure that out Sherlock?" This is an expression used today, in complete sarcasm of course. Some people don't realize where this came from. Ultimately it came from the mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle was born in Scotland, raised in the medical field, even became a doctor and slowly transgressed to be one of the most remembered and well known writers of all time, and handsomely paid of course.
Arthur Ignatius Conan Dolye was brought into this world on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh Scotland. Doyle was raised in a prosperous Christian-Irish family. His father, Stricken with alcoholism, was the only member of the family who did nothing of importance with his life. (http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/Biography/)
At the age of nine wealthy members of his family paved the way for Doyle's success by paying for his schooling. Doyle entered a Jesuit boarding school, which was complete agony, and the only happiness he had is when he wrote to his mother. While in the boarding school Doyle discovered he was a natural at storytelling usually finding himself engulfed by a crowd of younger students eager to listen to the stories he conjured. Doyle graduated in 1976 at the age of seventeen. He had a sense of humor and sensibility in sportsmanship. (http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/Biography/)
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After Doyle's studies in medicine he took his education and applied it to a career. He began work in 1880 when he was hired as a ship surgeon onboard the Greenland whaler "Hope." In 1881 Doyle earned himself A Bachelor of Medicine and Master surgery. He again works at sea as a shipboard medical officer on the steamboat "Mayumba." (http://www.siracd.com/life_events.shtml)
1888, The most important year of Doyle's life. The first book that contained the infamous character Sherlock Holmes is composed and "A Study in Scarlet" is written. In the book Holmes uses his amazing intellect and seemingly magical powers along with his "sidekick" Dr. Watson, who narrates many of the Holmes stories to solve complex
Crimes. (Woods 100-101) Holmes and Watson together reside at 221B Baker St., and because of this residence is the most popular street in all of London. (http://www.sherlockian.net/acd/)
Doyle wrote Sherlock into a few other novels. Novels such as "The Sign of Four" published in 1890, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" published in 1902, and "The Valley of Fear" published in 1914. Doyle and Holmes are not as well known for the novel appearance but in the appearance of short stories published in a magazine. (Woods 101)
Appearing dominantly in "The Strand" magazine Doyle became famous very quickly. The fame started with the first short story published in "The Strand" dubbed "A Scandal in Bohemia." People even became emotionally involved with Sherlock Holmes. Doyle became tired of writing about Holmes and tried to end the series by letting Holmes die in the short story "The Adventure of the Final Problem." (Woods 102) He wanted to end the Holmes stories not only because of his loss of interest but because of his second
wife who was in declining health. During the recession of Holmes, Doyle visited the United States on a lecture tour and also Egypt after his family moved back to England. (http://www.online-literature.com/doyle/)
In the year 1902 "The War of South Africa: Causes and Conducts" is published and Doyle is knighted for this book. Doyle was very familiar with the war, also known as the Boer War. In 1900 Doyle traveled to South Africa and served as doctor in a medical unit, which treated, wounded and disease struck British troops. (Stock) After his service he wrote "The Great Boer War." Two years later Doyle wrote what he referred to as a "pamphlet" which in fact was a very inaccurate description. The "pamphlet" contained over sixty thousand words, which in astonishment was completed in only eight days. (http://www.siracd.com/life_knight.shtml)
In 1903 by popular demand Sherlock Holmes was resurrected in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" is published. After "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" Doyle wrote many other books and novels some of which include; "The Poison Belt," "The Lost World," and "The Coming of Fairies."
The year 1918 was a very tough year for Doyle. He lost his son Kingsly and his brother Innes. After the death of his son Doyle became very motivated in spirituality which was the main focus of his writing until his death. He supports a "smaller" community of people such as fairies that live among us. On July 8, 1930 Sir Arthur Ingatius Conan Doyle dies and he is buried at the Rose Garden in Windlesham. (http://www.siracd.com/life_events.shtml)
In conclusion, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle contributed to society more than most of us could do in two life times. Doyle was a doctor, and a good one at that. He contributed to society every day of his medical life in a scientific-based motive. Doyle served in the military, even though he was only stationed in medical united he still contributed to helping society. Doyle published many books. He published books for people to read and be entertained, like his Sherlock Holmes stories. He also published serious books that analyzed a social injustice topic like the treatment of citizens in the Boer War. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the greatest men to walk this earth. His love for writing and storytelling in combination with courage and the ability to physically and mentally heal people is a gift not many have or will ever have. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did not only write a legend on paper, he lived a life of a legend and will be remembered in literature for generations and generations to come.
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The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 2000. Perry Internet Publishing. 19 May 2005 .
Woods, Tim. Who's Who of 20th Century Novelists. New York: Routledge, 2001.