Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born at Edinburgh, Scotland on this day in 1859. He studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh from 1876 to 1881. He served as ship's medical officer on two voyages before opening a practice with a classmate which lasted only a short time before he opened his own practice at Portsmouth. He had sold at least one story earlier, a lack of patients gave him time for more. In 1890 he studied the eye at Vienna, returning to open a London ophthalmology practice which attracted no patients at all. To make more time for his historical novels he killed Sherlock Holmes in 1893, but the public insisted on a return. He covered the Boer War as a journalist and wrote a pamphlet justifying the English position; he believed this was the reason for his knighthood in 1902. In addition to the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, he wrote five science
fiction novels featuring Professor Challenger, seven historical novels, and a long list of articles, plays, romances, and plays.
Growing up in Connecticut I can remember visiting the Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam on the Connecticut River. Gillette was a major playwright in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; however he is best known for playing Sherlock Holmes on stage. It was a real treat for me, as I have always loved the Sherlock Holmes novels and movies (Basil Rathbone was by far the best Holmes in my opinion.) If you ever get the chance to visit the castle, I strongly recommend it.
The following quotes are from Sir Arthur:
Depend upon it, there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces the same effect as if you worked a love-story into the fifth proposition of Euclid.
I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an
It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes.
The unexpected has happened so continually in my life that it has ceased to deserve the name.
“What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence”, returned my companion, bitterly. “The question is, what can
you make people believe that you have done.”
– Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859 – 1930
Wow Libby! – That’s too cool! – I am a big fan, but you are definitely a bigger one [:)]
Around this house, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes stories are a fixture. We have read almost all of them and have the complete library of Sherlock Holmes movies starting with those movies made pre-Basil Rathbone, and including the very latest Sherlock Holmes movie made. In other words, we a VERY big fans. Up until the BBC released it’s Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett, Basil Rathbone was, to our way of thinking, the pen-ultimate Sherlock. But now he has been supplanted with the Jeremy Brett rendition for us. Anyway hardly a month goes by that we don’t watch, read, or listen to an audiobook Sherlock Holmes mystery. Life without a good Conan Doyle story would be a much poorer place indeed.
Probably the most famous quote of Holmes’ ever! Thanks TV!
Great quote EW! Thanks for sharing!
Doyle’s first quote reminds me of another of my favorites. While at Princeton, Einstein was allowed a post-grad math student as an assistant. One day, his assistant was talking to an associate who asked him about Einstein’s legendary inability to balance a checkbook. The assistant acknowledged it was true, and told of asking the professor if he could explain such a genius for mathematics and a paucity of arithmatic in the same person. Einstein smiled and told him, “that’s why God gives me math doctoral students!”
Elementary my dear Watson.