Arthur Conan Doyle was a famous British author. Arthur Conan Doyle is known all over the world as the creator of one of the most famous fictional characters in English literature, the master detective Sherlock Holmes. Among all the fictional characters that have survived time, Sherlock Holmes is perhaps the most legendary. The shrewd detective has inspired films, TV shows and countless literary adaptations and analyses. Over 2,500 adaptations had come out by the 1990s alone.

But he was much more than the originator of modern detective literature. He was a man of many talents and pursuits: a medical doctor, multi-talented sportsman, prolific and excellent storyteller, keen patriot and a staunch imperialist, as well as a campaigner against miscarriages of justice.

Created by legendary British author Arthur Conan Doyle in his 1887 book, ‘A Study in Scarlet’, Sherlock Holmes and his appeal lives on. An exhibition devoted to him is on at Princetown, a village in the Dartmoor National Park in the county of Devon in the UK. Opened in April, the exhibition that runs till June 6, contains photographs of Dartmoors brooding landscape, the setting for Doyle’s iconic novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles’, written in 1901. While visitors can check out the places mentioned in the book, they can also see the place where Doyle stayed while writing the world-renowned crime mystery.

May 22, 2022 marks the 150th birth anniversary of Conan Doyle, a doctor and writer who created memorable characters and situations that would lay the foundation for many a detective novel and film. An exceptional story-teller, Doyle’s books are known to hold the complete attention of the reader.

Doyle had a difficult childhood, with an alcoholic father, who was absent throughout his life, but his mother was a loving presence, instilling in him a sense of curiosity and wonder.

After his education in medical school, Doyle started work as a doctor in an Arctic-bound ship. Though he continued medical practice on his return to England, he started writing novels to supplement his income. In 1887, at the age of 28, he wrote ‘A Study in Scarlet, introducing to the world Sherlock Holmes and his devoted friend Dr. John Watson. It is believed that Doyle modelled Holmes character on his professor and mentor at medical school, Dr Joseph Bell, who had keen powers of observation.

Doyle’s life changed greatly with the success of the novel and with each new novel, his fame spread far and wide. He gave up medical practice eventually and turned to full-time writing. However, despite his phenomenal success as an author, Doyle remained “simple, decent and compassionate”.

During his writing career, Doyle wrote 21 novels and over 150 short stories. He also published non-fiction, including The Great Boer War (1900). The British Campaign in France and Flanders and The Crime of the Congo based on his military experiences. Though Doyle wanted to serve in the British Army during World War I. he was rejected because of his age (he was already 55). But he had served as a volunteer physician in the Langman Field Hospital at Bloemfontein during the Second Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902). He has also published essays, articles, memoirs and three volumes of poetry. Doyle left thousands of letters to the press, about 1,500 letters to his mother. Mary Doyle. and his friends and acquaintances. Doyle led an inspiring life, achieving success through his own efforts. In Doyle’s own words: “We can’t all strike very big blows, and even the little ones count for something.”

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