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Remembering Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Convict13
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Thank you very much for this convict13.

 

RIP Sir Arthur......sorry that Sherlock Holmes has eclipsed all  your other works.....but don't feel to badly. He stood you in good stead and he is your immortality. An important boon to Forensic Science and the furtherance of Criminal Investigation. You truly should be very proud. The polices forces of the world salute you.

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You created the best consulting detective in the world - the one and only Sherlock Holmes.

 

You created his brother Mycroft, Dr John H Watson, Mrs Hudson and Inspector Lestrade.

 

Without you, there would be no Sherlock.

 

Without you, there would be no wonderful stories.

 

Without you, there would be no screen adaptations (from Basil Rathbone to Jeremy Brett to Benedict Cumberbatch).

 

You are an incredible man, an exceptionally talented writer.

 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I salute you.

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The British Library has reminded me that on this day in 1930 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died.

 

and they have provided us with a link to one of his manuscripts for Sherlock Holmes, I thought I would share.

 

http://www.bl.uk/learning/timeline/item126860.html

 

Thank you, Convict13!

 

I may have seen that very manuscript ("The Missing Three Quarter").  When Alex and I were in London last year, the British Library had a big display in their lobby of materials related to various fictional detectives -- and there was a Holmes manuscript in Conan Doyle's own handwriting.  Kind of sent a shiver up my spine, being that close to the original original material!

 

Oops, no, what we saw was from "The Retired Colourman" -- which I don't believe I've read yet, and probably would not have recognized from Alex's photo (a bit blurry because it was shot in low-light conditions, through glass) except for a very distinctive line near the bottom (which I shall hide in a spoiler box for anyone who's avoiding plot points):

 

 

"Pooh!  What an awful smell of paint!" cried the Inspector.

 

 

... and which I recognized only because Mark Gatiss mentioned that clue in the DVD commentary for "Great Game," which we had played just this past weekend.  So the Library's collection includes at least two Conan Doyle manuscripts -- though I have no idea how many of them are generally on display.

 

The man had lovely handwriting, didn't he?

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  • 3 months later...

While I don't agree with everything he did (his politics, The Red Star, Tragedy of Korosko), I'm glad his greatest creation has lasted the test of time and that he actually fought against injustice in real life.

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As you say, some of his wording sounds bigoted by current standards.  But I wouldn't consider that any kind of indictment.  I've heard it said that detective stories are one of our best windows into the past, because a good detective story has to be realistic in order for the clues to make sense to the contemporary reader.  So Conan Doyle's stories are presumably an accurate depiction of Victorian times.  Also, as I recall, many of the questionable words and phrases come from dialog intended to be typical of a certain type of person (of that era).

 

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