Celebrating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Birthday

Prolific mystery author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would’ve turned 163 today. We’re celebrating the Sherlock Holmes creator with a look at some of his most remarkable fiction and notable quotes.

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Best known for creating arguably the most famous mystery character, Sherlock Homes, we’re honoring the Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through his impact on the sub-fiction genre and his distinguished words. To celebrate Doyle’s birthday in the best bookish way, we’re exploring his early beginnings as a writer and how the logical and cold Sherlock Holmes character came to be.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Early Beginnings

Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born May 22nd, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Growing up in a greatly respected family in the art world, Doyle drew much of his imagination from his mother at an early age. She was an avid reader who shared vivid stories with her son that would mark the inspiration for many of his future short stories. At the age of nine, Doyle was sent to a Jesuit preparatory school in England before he began studying for his bachelor’s at Stonyhurst College. While there, he faced his fair share of bullying from his peers, but soon found solace in his natural ability in storytelling. His pursuit of creative writing allowed him to escape the harsh reality of bullying.

From The Arts to Medical School

Surprisingly, after graduating from college in 1876, Doyle applied to medical school at the University of Edinburgh. His parents were shocked to find out he wouldn’t be carrying on the family’s interest in art. While in college, Doyle explored his curiosity about the complex nature of science and the paranormal phenomenons. These topics opposed the strict religious beliefs he struggled with growing up, and he found himself intrigued by spiritualism. Additionally, Doyle found inspiration for many of his later fiction in his experience as a med student and the people he met there.

image of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, prolific Scottish author. 

cr. India Today
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle / IMAGE VIA INDIA TODAY

Sherlock Holmes & Other Notable Works

We all know the famous Sherlock Homes, but not the story behind creating this revolutionary character of mystery fiction. According to Biography, the famed character was inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s real-life medical school professor, Dr. Joseph Bell. In fact, Doyle’s writing career peaked in his years of med school, where he wrote short stories, “The Mystery of Sasassa Valley” and his second story, “The American Tale,” published in London Society. Discovering his passion for storytelling once again, Doyle began writing his most famous work known today.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Doyle wrote four Holmes books. The collection consisted of The Sign of Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and The Hound of Baskervilles. Upon pursuing more of his missionary work as a Spiritualist, Doyle decided to kill off the Holmes character. However, due to his reader’s dismay over the fact, he brought him back in the short story, “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Profits Doyle made off his Holmes collection allowed him to fund missionary work. He utilized his attention to spreading his faith through written works like The New Revolution, The Vital Message, The Wanderings of a Spiritualist, and History of Spiritualism. Doyle presented his writing skills with great creativity and clarity no matter the topic. The acclaimed writer and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became one of the most prevalent figures in the history of crime fiction.

Notable Quotes

It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Another Mystery Unfolds

We honor Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday with a look at his life as the gifted mystery writer and the notable quotes he left for us. We hope you’re celebrating the incredible author’s birthday by reading your favorite Sherlock Holmes novel or uncovering your own mystery.

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