Welcome back to On This Bookish Day. Where one day of the month I will honour and important literary date in history. I’ll tell you a little about the author and review one of their books.
So, on this bookish day:
May 22nd-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is Born, 1859
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is most well known for his stories featuring Sherlock Holmes. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Where he later studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. While studying he started to write short stories, and even had one published in the Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal. After graduation Doyle was then employed as a ship surgeon on a trip to the West African coast. Then in 1882 he set up a private practice in England, while waiting for patients he started writing fiction.
His first story featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson was published in 1886, and received good reviews. As it turns out Doyle had mixed feelings about his most famous character Holmes. He wrote his mother saying that he wanted to kill off the character to work on other things and she replied “You won’t! You can’t! You mustn’t!”. To try and prevent the publishers from requesting more Holmes he continued to up the price of his stories, which they were willing to pay. This made him one of the best paid authors of his time.
Doyle died of a heart attack at the age of 71, his last words were to his wife ” You are wonderful”.
And a few random facts:
- He wan’t knighted for his fiction, he was made a knight for his work on a non-fiction pamphlet regarding the Boer War.
- Doyle ran for parliament twice, once in Edinburgh in 1900 and once in Border Burghs in 1906, both times he was not elected.
- Why he killed of Holmes: he told a friend “I couldn’t revive him if I would, at least not for years, for I have had such an overdose of him that I feel towards him as I do towards pâté de foie gras, of which I once ate too much, so that the name of it gives me a sickly feeling to this day.” But it turns out that in the same year that he killed off Sherlock Holmes, his father, and alcoholic, died in an asylum.
There is a lot more to know about this man, but I guess I just want to pique you interest with a bit of information. I don’t want to write a whole paper on this, I have been out of school for a while and I no longer have to write essays.
I have now read the first three Sherlock Holmes books, and they are just fun. As a lot of you will know, he writes crimes stories and Mr.Holmes solves them in the most peculiar ways. Almost always by deduction.
I don’t read short stories very often, but this is one time where I prefer short stories over the novels. The way Holmes solves the cases, I don’t find the need for the full novels. They move a lot faster and I find them to be most entertaining when the stories are short and sweet. I found a couple of the stories to sort of drag on and I got a little bored with them, when he isn’t solving there usually isn’t a whole lot going on.
The character are really quirky and a lot of fun to get into. The crimes usually missing people, or other nonviolent crimes. Holmes solves them with the science of deduction, which is my favourite part. It so fun to watch him explain how simple it is to solve crimes, like everyone should just pay a little more attention.
Overall I get why these stories are a classic, they are really fun and I see how they became so popular. I would recommend these to people trying to venture into classics, they are short and really easy to get into.