Saturday, May 22, 2010


The serious looking fellow above is one Arthur Conan Doyle born this day 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since he is the creator of two of my heroes, I figured he deserved his place on the podium in his own right. There remains some mystery, which considering his later achievements is appropriate, regarding the origin of his "Conan Doyle" surname, but that need not detain us here. He was sent off to prep school, then to college, during which time he was to become an agnostic, and then to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. After obtaining his medical degree, and having one failed partnership to his name, he set up his own private practice in Portsmouth. His attempt at first was not very successful, and since he had arrived in town with less than 10 quid to his name, things were looking pretty bleak. While waiting for patients to begin to flock to his door he began writing short stories, and in 1887 he gave the world a hero for the ages in "A Study in Scarlet." That hero was one Sherlock Holmes, said to be based on Joseph Bell, whom was one of Conan Doyle's former university professors. He continued writing the Holmes stories until in 1893, after growing weary of Holmes, and wanting to devote more time to his historical novels, he killed Holmes off in "The Final Problem." Public outrage followed, and he was persuaded by it to bring Holmes back. He ended up writing 4 novels, and 56 short stories containing Holmes, and they are fantastic stuff. In those stories he also created the older Holmes brother, Mycroft, who was also a hero of the day. So, for creating two heroes of the day, and writing excellent works of fiction to bring them to life, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (May 22nd, 1859-July 7th, 1930, at the age of 71 from a heart attack) you are my (269th) hero of the day.

No comments: