Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 22nd May 1859. He was raised as catholic but then he declared himself agnostic. In fact he was born in a strict Irish- catholic family, and his family was well-respected.
At the age of 9 Doyle moved to England in order to attend “Hodder Palace Stonyhurst”, which was aJesuit preparatory school from 1868 to 1870.
After he had attended this school he studied at “Stonyhurst College”, but during all these years he had terrible experiences, he was bullied by his classmates, and the school practiced corporal punishment against its students. The only solace he had was storytelling.
In 1876 he graduated from college and he decided to pursue a medical degree at the University of Edinburgh. At University Doyle met his mentor, Professor Dr. Joseph Bell, who inspired Doyle in order to create his fictional detective character Sherlock Holmes. Even if he was a medical student he had always loved writing and in fact he published his first short story called “The mystery of Sasassa Valley” when he was still a student. During Doyle’s third year of university he took a ship surgeon’s post and he sailed for the Arctic Circle. This journey was a huge inspiration for his story “Captain of the Pole Star”.
In 1880 he went back to the medical school and in 1881 he received his Bachelor of Medicine degree. As soon as he graduated he started to work as a doctor on ships, and he travelled from Liverpool to Africa and when he came back he settled in Plymouth, England. After a short period he moved to Portsmouth and opened his first practise. Doyle wanted to find a balance between his medical career and his passion as author. In the end he gave up his career as a doctor in order to be an author.
In 1886 Doyle started writing “A Tangled Skein” which is his most famous novel, renamed two years later as “A Study in Scarlet”. In this novel Doyle introduced his well-known detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson. At first it was published in “Beeton’s Christmas Annual” and nowadays Sherlock Holmes’ stories are well-known all over the world. Doyle became incredibly famous in a very short period of time and he earned all the recognition he had so desired. “A Study in Scarlet” it was the first of 60 stories about Sherlock Holmes and his adventures. At this point of his life he decided to quit his medical career because he had already achieved success as a writer.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is extremely famous for his most popular Sherlock Holmes’s books written during the 1890s and early 1900s. He wrote many other books, but Sherlock Holmes became such an iconic character that his other works were overshadowed.
Sherlock Holmes’ stories are collected in a Canon, which include 4 novels, and 56 short stories.
-A Study in Scarlet (published 1887 in Beeton's Christmas Annual)
-The Sign of the Four (published 1890 in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine)
-The Hound of the Baskervilles (serialised 1901–1902 in The Strand)
-The Valley of Fear (serialised 1914–1915 in The Strand)
Short story collections: originally published in magazines, later recollected in five anthologies:
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (12 stories published 1891–1892 in The Strand)
-The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (12 stories published 1892–1893 in The Strand)
-The Return of Sherlock Holmes (13 stories published 1903–1904 in The Strand)
- His Last Bow (7 stories published 1908–1917)
-The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (12 stories published 1921–1927)
In 1893 Doyle decided to kill his character in a short story called “The Final Problem” in order to write books about Spiritualism but he received a lot of critics and in 1901 he reintroduced Sherlock Holmes, he had to bring him back to life and he wrote “The Return of Sherlock Holmes”.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on 7th July 1930 because he was diagnosed of Angina Pectoris but he ignored it and he refuse to cure himself. He went to a spiritualism tour through the Netherland and when he came back home he had a severe pain which brought him into death.