Fun Facts Friday: Arthur Conan Doyle

May 22, 2020

Arthur Conan Doyle ((22 May, 1859 – 7 July, 1930) was a Scottish author most famous for creating the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.

Fun Facts Friday: Arthur Conan DoyleBooks by Arthur Conan Doyle*

  1. Doyle’s birth name is Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle. Conan was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name. When he was knighted, it was under the name “Doyle” but he used the compound name of “Conan Doyle” as his surname (his wife was “Jean Conan Doyle” rather than “Jean Doyle”).
  2. Trained as a physician, he opened a practice but closed it because he never received any patients.
  3. Charles Doyle, the author’s father, was a gifted fantasy illustrator and was the first to illustrate Sherlock Holmes. Charles Doyle was also an alcoholic who stole his children’s money to buy alcohol and spent the last 20 years of his life.
  4. When two your girls faked photographs of fairies in 1917 Mr. Conan Doyle, along with other believers such as Harry Houdini, made them famous. In 1997 the story was made into a movie called Fairy Tale: A True Story, Peter O’Toole played the author (Harvey Keitel played Houdini). Conan Doyle and Houdini were friends but has a falling out since Conan Doyle believed in spiritualism, but Houdini worked to discredit it.
  5. The author was also a bookstore owner. The stored was described as a psychic bookstore and library, hence did not sell any of Conan Doyle’s work.
  6. When he was in Boston, MA, Arthur Conan Doyle was astonished when his cab driver knew who he was. When asked, the cabbie “pulled a Sherlock” and replied: “If you’ll excuse my saying so, the lapels of your coat look as if they had been grabbed by Now York reporters, your hair looks as if it had been cut in Philadelphia, your hat looks as if you had to stand your ground in Chicago, and your right shoe has evident Buffalo mud under the instep, and … I saw Conan Doyle’ in big white letters on your trunk.”
  7. Conan Doyle also loved to ski, developed during his time in Davos, Switzerland. He introduced the sport to the British by writing a feature in Strand Magazine.
  8. In his time the author was considered an expert on armaments, and with good reason. During World War I, Prime Minister David Lloyd George and a young minister who considered himself an expert on military strategy named Winston Churchill sent Conan Doyle to inspect the French, Italia and, of course, British fronts. Due to the author’s efforts equipped with rubber lifebelts and dinghies, and the infantry with flat bullet-proof helmets.
  9. In 1902 Conan Doyle was knighted by King Edward VII for writing… a pamphlet about the Boer War defending British actions.
  10. Reportedly Conan Doyle’s last words were “you are wonderful”, to his wife who was beside him while he collapsed holding a flower.

Books by Arthur Conan Doyle*

Zohar – Man of la Book

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