Arthur Conan Doyle, who brought Sherlock Holmes to literature – I part

Dear friends of Training Centre – Raya, if you still have not paid attention, a remarkable image stands out in the British literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the one of Sherlock Holmes! With the advent of industrialization in production and the development of science, the scientific, analytical approach came into vogue, and its exponent, applying it successfully in practice, is precisely the famous detective, the main character in so many books and films. But who was the one who brought this remarkable character into our world? An extremely versatile personality and famous author of crime mysteries – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland in a family of Irish Catholics. The name Conan he received when he was baptized, and it is actually a part of a compound surname. His early education took place in England and was then completed in Austria, as his parents wanted him to improve his German there.. The expanded horizons and the greater freedom he received with his overseas education led Arthur to reject the Catholic faith and initially became an agnostic. Over time, however, he began to define himself as a mystic-spiritualist – a member of a society that challenged official science and sought connection with the other world through the calling of spirits and various rituals.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s education continued in a medical school, supplementing it with practice in the botanical garden and acquisition of relevant botanical knowledge. All this scientific knowledge will later find expression in his works. Sometime around this time – between 1876 and 1881 – he began publishing his first mystery stories in various periodicals. It was during that time when his first scientific work on poisons was published in British Medical Journal and it found application in forensics and homicide investigation.

The knowledge he acquired in medical school was used by Arthur Conan Doyle to master his skills as a ship’s doctor during an expedition to study Franz Joseph Land – an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean – a useful period for this seeker of adventure and new knowledge. The expedition named several islands that had not been explored until then.

A little bit later after that he obtained a Bachelor of Medical Science as well as a Master of Surgery and sailed as a ship’s surgeon around the coast of South Africa. It was perhaps then when the image of the famous companion of the great detective – Dr. John Watson – begins to form in his mind.

After overcoming some obstacles, Arthur Conan Doyle started an independent medical practice in Portsmouth. Unfortunately, not very successful. It was fortunate for us, because while he was waiting for customers, the future world-famous author starts writing his famous stories. His later attempts to specialize as an ophthalmologist and gain clients were unsuccessful, but this was beneficial to literature.

Dear friends, here ends the first part of our story about the famous author of Sherlock Holmes. Stay tuned for the second part, which will focus on the legendary character! Use the English version of this article to improve your knowledge of the English language and build on what you have learned so far! Look for the button for visiting the English version which is located in the right corner! See you soon!

Author: Iveta Radeva

Image: Alex Sabre/Shutterstock

Training Centre Raya London is a new and fastly developing English Language School specialized in teaching English as a second language. Founded in 2015 we are small enough to provide a personal service, but large enough to have very good facilities and resources for the students to learn English in UK.