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Hikari

Conan Doyle, A Hero Revisited

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Due to the copyright discussion and other Conan Doyle material being placed here, I chose to put this discussion here, but moderators, feel free to move if necessary.

 

Herlock and I were chatting about "The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes"--the collection of Holmes pastiches co-written by John Dickson Carr & ACD's youngest son, Adrian, back in the 1950s.  That got me curious about the lives of Conan Doyle's children.  ACD had 5 children altogether; a girl, Mary and a boy Kingsley, with his first wife, Louisa (Touie) Hawkins, who succumbed to tuberculosis after a long illness; and Denis, Adrian and Jean, with second wife Jean Leckie, whom Arthur married after Touie finally had the good grace to expire.  Conan Doyle had met Jean, 16 years his junior, nearly a decade before the unfortunate Tooie's demise, but steadfastly claimed throughout his lifetime that the relationship remained platonic until he was free to marry again.  When they finally did marry, Arthur was 47 and Jean was 31.

 

I came upon this article:

 

http://www.telegraph.com.uk/news/uknews/Revealed-the-cruelty-of-Conan-Doyle-to-his-eldest-daughter.html

 

 

This relates how Conan Doyle basically rejected his first two children in favor of his three children by Jean, who reportedly was toxically jealous of Touie's children, particularly Mary.  Conan Doyle forbade her to come home for holidays, castigating her for 'moral weakness' for asking, and, despite being one of the world's wealthiest men, left her 2000 pounds in his will and cut her out completely from the receipt of any royalties from his estate (which ran into the millions of pounds from the sale of all his hugely popular books.)  All of this went to Jean and her three children; the two boys became playboys on their fathers' money, while Mary eked out a living as a spinster in a small flat.  Her brother Kingsley died in 1918, felled by influenza while he was training to become a doctor like his father.

 

Beware the Wicked Stepmother!  Adrian Conan Doyle dropped dead suddenly at only 59, perhaps cut short from some of those playboy excesses.  His brother Denis died even earlier, at 45 years of age.  Dame Jean Conan Doyle, the couple's youngest child would survive into old age, passing away in 1997, after having safeguarded her father's literary estate as executrix of his will . . but their mother's doting on them doesn't seem to have done her underachieving and short-lived sons many favors.

 

Quite a disappointing fact to learn about a man whose books have given so much pleasure to so many.  His first family seems to have derived very little pleasure or benefit from having him as their husband and father.  Once Jean was on the scene, Arthur could see nothing, and no one else. 

 

Ed. note:  this page is not opening, though I've copied it correctly as far as I can see.  A Google search of this title will bring the article up.

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Your link didn't work for me either -- looked like it'd been hijacked.  Lemme try redoing it:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1470450/Revealed-the-cruelty-of-Conan-Doyle-to-his-eldest-daughter.html
 
Does that work for you?

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Your link didn't work for me either -- looked like it'd been hijacked.  Lemme try redoing it:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1470450/Revealed-the-cruelty-of-Conan-Doyle-to-his-eldest-daughter.html

 

Does that work for you?

 

Yes, this works.  Thanks for fixing it.  I am still having my cut-and-paste issues, but we are supposed to be getting new and upgraded computers at work this year.  If we have the newest version of Windows, maybe this problem will go away.

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