Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Biography

(British Writer Who Created the Character of Sherlock Holmes)

Birthday: May 22, 1859 (Gemini)

Born In: Scotland

Arthur Conan Doyle is the widely read Scottish author who created the legendary, world famous fictional character, 'Sherlock Holmes'. He authored more than 60 'Sherlock Holmes' mystery stories, which captivated readers and transported them into a world of mystery. Some of his notable 'Sherlock Holmes' works include, ‘Stories of Sherlock Holmes', 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', 'The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes' and 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes'. He also authored many non-fiction books, works of fantasy, science-fiction and wrote poetry. He has also published many historical novels. He created another fictional character named, ‘Professor Challenger' and wrote a series of novels based on him. Born into a wealthy family in Edinburgh, Scotland, Doyle grew up listening to many enchanting tales narrated to him by his mother, Mary, a well read and masterful storyteller. He initially went to medical school and after he graduated he was briefly employed and later set up his own practice. Unfortunately, his medical career did not succeed and he began writing stories while he waited for patients, little knowing the fact that these stories would change his life forever.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In May

Also Known As: Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

Died At Age: 71


Spouse/Ex-: Jean Leckie (m. 1907–1930), Louisa Hawkins (m. 1885–1906)

father: Charles Altamont Doyle

mother: Mary Foley

siblings: Annette, Innes

children: Adrian Conan Doyle, Arthur Alleyne Kingsley, Denis Percy Stewart, Jean Conan Doyle, Mary Louise

Born Country: Scotland

Novelists Short Story Writers

Died on: July 7, 1930

place of death: Crowborough, East Sussex, England

More Facts

education: Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst, Stonyhurst College, Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria, University of Edinburgh

  • 1

    When did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle create Sherlock Holmes?

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes in 1887.

  • 2

    What was the inspiration behind the character of Sherlock Holmes?

    The inspiration behind Sherlock Holmes was a Scottish surgeon and teacher named Dr. Joseph Bell, whom Doyle studied under.

  • 3

    How many Sherlock Holmes novels did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle write?

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a total of four Sherlock Holmes novels.

  • 4

    What was the last Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

    The last Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is "The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place."

  • 5

    Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle believe in spiritualism?

    Yes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a firm believer in spiritualism and was known for his interest in the occult and paranormal.

Childhood & Early Life
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Charles Altamont Doyle, a Victorian artist and Mary Foley. His parents were of Irish-Catholic descent.
His family was affluent and well respected but his father was a heavy drinker and hence he was supported by his wealthy uncles. His mother was well read. When he was a child, she sparked his imagination with the great stories she narrated.
From 1868, he began to attend Hodder Place, a Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school and later went to the Stonyhurst College. He subsequently went to the Stella Matutina Jesuit School in Feldkirch, Austria.
In the year 1876, he enrolled at the medical school at the University of Edinburgh. During this period he also did many jobs and first began writing short stories. One of his earliest unpublished works of fiction was ‘The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe'.
On September 6, 1879, his piece, ‘The Mystery of Sasassa Valley', was published in the Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal. This was his first publication. That year, his non-fiction work, ‘Gelsemium as a Poison' was also published.
In 1880, he was employed as a physician abode the Greenland whaler 'Hope of Peterhead'. Following his graduation, he became a ship surgeon abode the ‘S SMayumba’.
In 1882, he set up an independent medical practice at 1 Bush Villas in Elm Grove, Southsea. His practice did not prove to be very successful and he began writing stories while waiting for patients.
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In 1887, his piece ‘A Study in Scarlet' was first published in the Beeton's Christmas Annual. The piece received good reviews and first introduced the characters, 'Sherlock Holmes' and ‘Dr John Watson'.
In 1888, ‘A Study in Scarlet' was published in book form. This was one of the first novels of that time to use the magnifying glass as an investigative tool. The following year, his historical novel, ‘Micah Clarke' was published.
In 1889, his novel ‘The Mystery of Cloomber' was published while the year 1890 saw the publication of 'The Firm of Girdlestone', which was later made into a silent film of the same name.
In 1890, he went on to study ophthalmology in Vienna, after which he moved to London. He later set up a practice as an ophthalmologist at No.2 Devonshire Place.
In 1890, his second 'Sherlock Holmes' novel, ‘The Sign of the Four' was published. It first appeared in the Lippincott's Monthly Magazine and later published in book form by Spencer Blackett.
In 1892, he published, ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', which consisted of a series of twelve stories, featuring his well-known detective character, 'Sherlock Holmes'.
In 1893, his historical novel, ‘The Refugees' was published. The following year, he published the novelette, ‘The Parasite’ and ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’. In the latter book 'Sherlock Holmes' dies.
In 1893, along with J. M. Barrie, he co-authored the comic opera, ‘Jane Annie, or The Good Conduct Prize'. The same year, it opened at the Savoy Theatre in London.
In 1895, he published his epistolary novel titled, 'The Stark Munro Letters'. The following year, his 'Sherlock Holmes' short story titled, ‘The Field Bazaar’ was published.
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In 1896, his Gothic mystery novel, 'Rodney Stone' was published. It was later made into a silent film titled, ‘The House of Temperley'. The same year, his short story collection, ‘The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard' was published.
In 1898, his novel, 'The Tragedy of the Korosko' was published. This was published earlier in a monthly UK publication, ‘The Strand Magazine'. The following year, he came out with the novel, ‘A Duet, with an Occasional Chorus'.
In 1900, his non-fiction book on the Boer War, 'The Great Boer War' was published. After two years, he published a 'Sherlock Holmes' series novel titled, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles'.
In 1905, he came out with a series of 13 'Sherlock Holmes' stories titled, ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes'. In this collection the character ‘Sherlock Holmes' reappeared after many years.
In 1906, his historical novel, 'Sir Nigel' was published. The book was about the early period of the Hundred Years' War. The following year, his book, 'Through The Magic Door' was published.
In 1912, came out with the novel, ‘The Lost World'. This was the first novel in which he introduced the character, ‘Professor Challenger’. The next year, a second ‘Professor Challenger’ novel, ‘The Poison Belt' was published.
In 1915, he came out with his final 'Sherlock Holmes' novel titled, ‘The Valley of Fear'. After two years, his book, ‘His Last Bow', which was a collection of 7 ‘Sherlock Holmes' stories, was published.
In 1918, he came out with a collection of short stories titled ‘Danger! And Other Stories' and a non-fiction work, ‘The New Revelation'. The following year, he published his book, ‘The Vital Message’.
In 1919, he came out with the work of poetry titled, ‘The Guards Came Through, and Other Poems'. In the following years, he came out with the non-fiction works, 'The Coming of the Fairies' and 'The Case for Spirit Photography'.
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In 1924, he published the ‘Sherlock Holmes' short story, ‘How Watson Learned the Trick'. After three years, he published his final collection of 12 Sherlock Holmes' short stories, ‘The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes'.
In 1926, he came out with his ‘Professor Challenger' series novel, ' The Land of Mist', which was published by Hutchinson & Co. The same year, he came out with his non-fiction book, ‘The History of Spiritualism'.
In 1928, he authored the ‘Professor Challenger' short story titled, ‘When the World Screamed'. The following year another ‘Professor Challenger' short story, 'The Disintegration Machine' was published in Stand Magazine.
Major Works
He is the creative genius behind the popular fictional character ‘Sherlock Holmes', based on whom he authored more than 60 detective stories. His notable work, ‘Stories of Sherlock Holmes' is widely read, till date.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1885, he married Louisa Hawkins. Unfortunately she contracted tuberculosis and died of it in 1906. They had two children.
After the death of his first wife, he married Jean Elizabeth Leckie. The two married in 1907 and had three children. They fell in love when his first wife was still alive.
He suffered from Angina Pectoris.
He supported Christian Spiritualism and became a part of the Spiritualists’ National Union. He was a member of ‘The Ghost Club', an organisation that believed in the supernatural.
He played football and golf for clubs. He also played cricket for the Marylebone Cricket Club.
He died at the age of 71, after a heart attack.
In his honour, a statue of him is built in Crowborough, where he resided for almost 23 years.
The widely acclaimed fictional character of ‘Sherlock Holmes’, the detective was conceived and created by this immensely talented author and medical practitioner.
Facts About Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a skilled athlete and excelled in sports such as cricket, boxing, and rugby during his youth.

He was a trained ophthalmologist and volunteered as a medic during the Boer War, where he treated wounded soldiers.

Conan Doyle was a staunch advocate for justice and was known for his efforts to overturn wrongful convictions, even taking on cases himself.

He was a dedicated spiritualist and believed in the existence of fairies, actively participating in the investigation of the "Cottingley Fairies" photos.

Conan Doyle was a prolific writer beyond his Sherlock Holmes stories, producing works in various genres including science fiction, historical fiction, and non-fiction.

See the events in life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Chronological Order

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