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Book Title: The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes|
The author of the book: Arthur Conan Doyle
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 874 KB
Edition: Castle Books
Date of issue: November 29th 2009
ISBN 13: 9780890090572
Read full description of the books The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes:I've added a review of The Return to the bottom of this...
The Memoirs continues the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – and this review will be one long spoiler – so if you don’t know, don’t read on.
I showed the daughters the BBC production of these a few years ago and when we got to the episode in which Holmes and Moriarty topple into the waterfall, well, there were tears and an agony of disbelief. But reading this now it seems to me that Doyle was leaving himself open to bringing Holmes back to life all along. The fact no one actually sees what happens is very telling, if you ask me.
These stories are good clean fun. I have enjoyed them very much. I am also particularly fond of Mycroft, Holmes’ older and smarter brother. It is amusing that he entirely locks himself away in the Diogenes Club in which any human contact is not only frowned upon, but grounds for being kicked out. The fact that the original Diogenes, the philosopher of Greek persuasion, used to masturbate in public possibly has some deeper meaning it is best not to speculate on concerning Doyle’s feelings for Holmes in what was supposed to have been his second last story concerning the great detective.
As annoying as Holmes may have become to Doyle, we have many reasons to be glad that he was resurrected.
Imagine you were forced to go back to writing stories based on the life of a character you had thought you had killed off about a decade earlier – what would those stories be like?
This book also ends with Holmes in retirement, with Watson under strict orders not to write any more tales. I found it fascinating how many of the stories begin with the narration in the past tense – almost as if Holmes is dead and Watson wrote these in memoriam. Holmes has also become increasingly frustrated with Watson, both as his Boswell and as any sort of thinker at all. It even seems a bit sarcastic at the end of one story when Holmes refers to Watson as the perfect representative of the British Jury and has Watson playing along.
Which is the other thing Holmes seems to do more in these stories now he has been brought back to life – play with the other characters. He seems much more contemptuous of those around him. I kept thinking of that horror story The Monkey’s Paw where one does need to be careful what one wishes for and if you do bring someone back from the dead they might not be quite what you had hoped. In fact, now I of it, it is remarkable how often that idea returns in literature in one form or another. Even in Carey's Bliss
I’ve been thinking of Doyle’s spiritualism lately and what Holmes would have made of it all. I can’t help feeling that there might have been words between the two of them and tuts and the slow shaking of the head. That is, I sometimes wonder if Holmes, the character, was more necessary, in a sense, than Doyle the writer. I know that sounds like a silly thing to say, but I think it might be at least a little true too.
One of the things Holmes recommends in his rationally imaginative process of detective work is to gauge the intelligence of the person who commits the crime and then work out what someone of that level of intelligence would be likely to do at any given point. Well, we are repeatedly told that Watson is as dull as dishwater – memorably in one case Holmes says that this is not a case for Watson as it requires brains. We are told this repeatedly, and yet we trust him completely as he tells us these stories.
Watson's wife snuffs it at some stage between these two books - something so painful for Watson that the only reference to it is that Holmes never mentions it so as to spare Watson's feelings. If a character is unnecessary best to kill them off, I guess.
Read information about the authorArthur Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.
Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is uncertain. His baptism record in the registry of St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh gives 'Arthur Ignatius Conan' as his Christian name, and simply 'Doyle' as his surname. It also names Michael Conan as his godfather.
At the age of nine Conan Doyle was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school, Hodder Place, Stonyhurst. He then went on to Stonyhurst College, leaving in 1875.
From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. This required that he provide periodic medical assistance in the towns of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and Sheffield. While studying, Conan Doyle began writing short stories. His first published story appeared in "Chambers's Edinburgh Journal" before he was 20. Following his graduation, he was employed as a ship's doctor on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast. He completed his doctorate on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885.
In 1885 Conan Doyle married Louisa (or Louise) Hawkins, known as "Touie". She suffered from tuberculosis and died on 4 July 1906. The following year he married Jean Elizabeth Leckie, whom he had first met and fallen in love with in 1897. Due to his sense of loyalty he had maintained a purely platonic relationship with Jean while his first wife was alive. Jean died in London on 27 June 1940.
Conan Doyle fathered five children. Two with his first wife—Mary Louise (28 January 1889 – 12 June 1976), and Arthur Alleyne Kingsley, known as Kingsley (15 November 1892 – 28 October 1918). With his second wife he had three children—Denis Percy Stewart (17 March 1909 – 9 March 1955), second husband in 1936 of Georgian Princess Nina Mdivani (circa 1910 – 19 February 1987; former sister-in-law of Barbara Hutton); Adrian Malcolm (19 November 1910–3 June 1970) and Jean Lena Annette (21 December 1912–18 November 1997).
Conan Doyle was found clutching his chest in the hall of Windlesham, his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, on 7 July 1930. He had died of a heart attack at age 71. His last words were directed toward his wife: "You are wonderful." The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard at Minstead in the New Forest, Hampshire, reads:
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
PATRIOT, PHYSICIAN & MAN OF LETTERS
Conan Doyle's house, Undershaw, located in Hindhead, south of London, where he had lived for a decade, had been a hotel and restaurant between 1924 and 2004. It now stands empty while conservationists and Conan Doyle fans fight to preserve it.
A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where Conan Doyle lived for 23 years. There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born.
* Sherlock Holmes
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