The legendary detective Sherlock Holmes is one of those literary heroes whose fame has surpassed that of the writers themselves. And the life of Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of stories about Holmes, was no less interesting and full of adventure. Quite recently, on May 22, the literary world celebrated the 160th anniversary of the writer's birth.
Arthur's relatives assumed that Arthur would follow in the footsteps of his uncle Michael Edward Conan, who was a talented painter and writer. But, unexpectedly for everyone, he became interested in medicine and became a student at the University of Edinburgh. True, already in his third year he began to publish in a university journal.
In 1882, 23-year-old physician Arthur Conan Doyle begins his private practice in the English city of Portsmouth. The young physician had not yet had time to gain fame, therefore, a large number of patients were not observed. I had to look for additional ways to earn money, and Arthur again begins to write stories for magazines.
Sherlock Holmes's journey to the reader was not easy. For the first time, this detective appears in the story "Study in crimson tones", which the writer offered several times to different editions, but was refused. In 1886, only the publishing house "Ward and Lock" was interested, which offered the author rather modest conditions - 25 pounds sterling with the transfer of all rights to this work to the publisher. Moreover, the publication was postponed until next year, as, according to the editors, they were flooded with "cheap literature."
The writer did not expect that he would become a "prisoner" of Sherlock Holmes, he planned to write only a few stories and forget about his hero - a brilliant detective. The Strand Publishing House literally begged him to write a sequel to Holmes' adventures. To get rid of the annoying editors, Doyle put forward a condition - 50 pounds per story. He was sure that such a sum would be too large, but, to his surprise, the publisher immediately agreed.
The royalties were subsequently increased to £ 1, 000 per story. Tired of Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle decided to "kill" him. In England, indignation began - how dare a writer raise his hand against a national hero? And the writer had to "resurrect" the detective.
By the early twentieth century, Arthur Conan Doyle was the highest paid literary man in the world. In 1902 he received the knighthood "sir". Moreover, not only for literary activity, but also for participation in the Anglo-Boer War as a doctor in a field hospital.
Even during the First World War, the writer, who was already 55 at the time, decided to volunteer for the army. He was refused because of his considerable age, then Arthur Conan Doyle began to form groups from among civilians who wanted to go to the front. He himself was upset by the refusal, claiming that he was still "very strong and enduring."
Physically, Arthur was indeed very well prepared, since childhood he was involved in various sports: football, boxing, rugby, alpine skiing. Even in old age, he loved to demonstrate a power trick: he spread his arms to the side, in each of them holding a gun horizontally by the very tip of the barrel.
Interesting fact: Arthur Conan Doyle himself called his best literary work not the stories about Sherlock Holmes, but the historical novel "The White Squad", which was first published in 1891.