Sherlock Holmes[ edit ] Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his work. His first work featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Doyle felt grievously exploited by Ward Lock as an author new to the publishing world and he left them. Doyle wrote the first five Holmes short stories from his office at 2 Upper Wimpole Street then known as Devonshire Placewhich is now marked by a memorial plaque.
What evidence is there to support these views? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was among the first writers of detective stories and novels in England. The first novel recognised as a detective story was written inby Wilkie Collins entitled "The Moonstone".
Later inthe popular novelist Charles Dickens also tried his hand at writing a detective novel called "The Mystery of Edwin Drood". These early detective stories have not become as famous as Doyle's creation for a number of reasons, one of which is that when Doyle began writing his novels there was a greater demand in general for stories, as more people were becoming educated and were taught how to read.
Consequently, when the stories about Holmes were published, there was a growing readership in England, greater than there had been in Dickens' and Collins' time. Furthermore, the fact that dialect was rarely used in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories, unlike other works of the time, made it easier for people to read and understand the content, particularly those who had only recently acquired the basic skill of reading.
In addition, as the stories were originally published in the "Strand" magazine, this made them fairly accessible, and therefore they enjoyed a wider social readership. The stories were often shorter than those of other writers, and thus avoided unnecessary detail.
Generally, the stories have a distinct and succinct plot structure and were supported by illustrations, which I suggest, played a part in the general success.
Thus the popularity of his detective stories increased rapidly, yet at the same time Doyle was becoming more and more uncomfortable with his character. He wanted, out of personal preference to devote greater time to other forms of writing.
He decided that the best way to do this was to end the life of Sherlock Holmes with a dramatic story involving Holmes' worst enemy, Professor Moriarty. Doyle sent his famous detective and his enemy plunging to their deaths at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.
Doyle, however, had underestimated the popularity of his character, because when his followers read "The Adventure of the Final Problem" there was a public outcry over his action. He received many letters from infuriated readers and some men actually marched through London, wearing black crepe bands around their hats, indicating their remorse for the death of their favourite detective.
It has been suggested that it was the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, which kept the "The Strand" magazine in business, and when Doyle's stories did not appear in it, there were fewer copies sold, showing the tremendous popularity of the detective.
The owner of the magazine reported the death of Holmes as "a dreadful event" to his shareholders, showing that it was a major loss to the company.
Seven years after the supposed death of the detective, and after being offered a substantial fee by his publisher, Doyle relented to public pressure and wrote a novel entitled "The Hound of the Baskervilles" featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.
As the popularity for Holmes continued to rise, he revealed in the next series, that the fall at the Reichenbach Falls had only been fatal for Moriarty and that Holmes had managed to escape at the last moment. Doyle passed away inbut not before writing a further thirty two short stories and a fourth novel, "The Valley of Fear" featuring Holmes and Watson.
One reason for the appeal of the stories may be the originality of the way in which the crimes were solved. Also, as the police force had only been set up inand the detective division inthe methods used in solving real cases were still very basic. Consequently, the readers would not have had much knowledge of ways of deduction and so often the plots of the stories were seen to be quite technical, and the way the crimes were solved even more so.
It is a genre, which allows the reader to feel that they are indirectly participating in the process of deduction and possible solution of a mystery. The methods which Holmes uses to solve problems he encounters are quite extraordinary. In the late nineteenth century, policemen were generally disliked and treated with little respect.
Doyle used this knowledge in many of the cases where Holmes is called to investigate, after the police have tried and failed to find a solution. Holmes deduces that Mr Oldacre is still alive and well, and he uses his skills to make the man reveal himself to the police.
Therefore, as the character of Sherlock Holmes was able to use his powers of deduction to solve cases which the police were finding difficult, he occasionally made a fool of the police, which is possibly one aspect that the original readers enjoyed.
During Doyle's early Sherlock Holmes fame, he was invited to assist Scotland Yard with their enquiries into the Jack the Ripper murders. The invitation to Doyle was used to deflect public criticism of the police force with regard to their failure to solve the crimes. Furthermore, these "Ripper Murders" may have succeeded in increasing the public's interest in the genre of detection and the morbid fascination with murder and other gruesome events, thus indirectly increasing the popularity of the Holmes mysteries.
The personality of Holmes is also intriguing. Doyle created a character who is often seen to be cold and distant towards people who come to ask for his assistance, however, occasionally for a brief period of time he shows the reader a different aspect of his personality.
One example of this, is in "The Adventure of the Devil's Foot", where Holmes, with the assistance of Watson, is conducting an experiment with an unknown powder that has been found at the scene of a murder.In , author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shoved detective Sherlock Holmes off a cliff.
The cliff was fictionally located in Switzerland, over . Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes Kindle Edition by Michael Sims (Author)/5(47). The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.
Doyle's attitude towards his most famous creation was ambivalent.
The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Minotaur Books. In , author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle shoved detective Sherlock Holmes off a cliff. The cliff was fictionally located in Switzerland, over the Reichenbach Falls.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was among the first writers of detective stories and novels in England. The first novel recognised as a detective story was written in , by Wilkie Collins entitled "The Moonstone".
Arthur Conan Doyle printable view Like the elusive Sherlock Holmes, his most famous creation, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a man of many contradictions.