He understood now why the world was strange, why horses galloped furiously, and why trains whistled as they raced through stations. All the comedy and terror of nightmare gripped his heart with pincers made of ice. ~ The Other Wing by Algernon Blackwood
“Too much! Wait till you have lived here longer. Look down the valley! See the cloud of a hundred chimneys that overshadows it! I tell you that the cloud of murder hangs thicker and lower than that over the heads of the people. It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn. Wait, young man, and you will learn for yourself.” ~ The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
And something born of the snowy desolation, born of the midnight and the silent grandeur, born of the great listening hollows of the night, something that lay ‘twixt terror and wonder, dropped from the vast wintry spaces down into his heart—and called him. ~ The Glamour of the Snow by Algernon Blackwood
“They all agreed that it was a huge creature, luminous, ghastly, and spectral. I have cross-examined these men, one of them a hard-headed countryman, one a farrier, and one a moorland farmer, who all tell the same story of this dreadful apparition, exactly corresponding to the hell-hound of the legend. I assure you that there is a reign of terror in the district, and that it is a hardy man who will cross the moor at night.” ~ The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 and died in 1930. He’s best known as the creator of the Sherlock Holmes. But here are five things about him that you may not know.
1 – Conan Doyle was a physician. He attended the University of Edinburgh Medical School and graduated in 1881 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Mastery of Surgery.
2 – He worked as a ship’s surgeon on a whaling vessel.
3 – Conan Doyle was not knighted for his Sherlock Holmes stories. The War in South Africa: Its Causes and Conduct caught the eye of the monarchy. In it, Conan Doyle comes to Great Britain’s defense against charges of war crimes in the Boer War.
4 – George Edalji was an innocent man convicted of mutilating and killing livestock. Who helped him prove his innocence? The case was solved by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sir Arthur solved two real-life crime cases, the George Edalji case and the Oscar Slater case.
5 – Conan Doyle believed in Spiritualism. It’s true. The man who created the ever-logical Sherlock Holmes believed in spirits and things like automatic writing.
You can learn more about all of these subjects at our partner site, Conan Doyle Info. As the site says, Sherlock Holmes is just the beginning.
A new Sherlock Holmes novel will hit bookstores in September. Art in the Blood is by Bonnie MacBird. She teaches screenwriting at UCLA Extension. MacBird is also a speaker on multiple subjects. She’s an expert on the topics of writing, creativity and of course, Sherlock Holmes.
“Thoroughly entertaining … worthy of Doyle himself. … a superb, labyrinthine plot, snappy pacing and, most importantly, a deep respect for the classic characters.” –Bryan Cogman, Co-Producer/Writer, HBO’s Game of Thrones
“I carry my own church about under my own hat,” said I. “Bricks and mortar won’t make a staircase to heaven. I believe with your Master that the human heart is the best temple.” ~ The Stark Munro Letters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
One of my favorite authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, died on this day in 1930. He was 71 years old.
Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. However he wrote many other novels and short stories. Here are five of my favorite quotes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that don’t have anything to do with Sherlock Holmes.
Come what may, I am bound to think that all things are ordered for the best; though when the good is a furlong off, and we with our beetle eyes can only see three inches, it takes some confidence in general principles to pull us through. ~ The Stark Munro Letters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Goresthorpe Grange is a feudal mansion – or so it was termed in the advertisement which originally brought it under my notice. Its right to this adjective had a most remarkable effect upon its price, and the advantages gained may possibly be more sentimental than real. Still, it is soothing to me to know that I have slits in my staircase through which I can discharge arrows; and there is a sense of power in the fact of possessing a complicated apparatus by means of which I am enabled to pour molten lead upon the head of the casual visitor. ~ Selecting a Ghost by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the golden autumn light, and the air was full of the piping of the song-birds. Long, glinting dragonflies shot across the path, or hung tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies. ~ The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
And now set in a fell and fierce fight, one of a thousand of which no chronicler has spoken and no poet sung. Through all the centuries and over all those southern waters nameless men have fought in nameless places, their sole monuments a protected coast and an unravaged country-side. ~ The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, have no wish for the company of their fellows. Yet they are not averse to comfortable chairs and the latest periodicals. It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started, and it now contains the most unsociable and unclubable men in town. No member is permitted to take the least notice of any other one. Save in the Stranger’s Room, no talking is, under any circumstances, allowed, and three offences, if brought to the notice of the committee, render the talker liable to expulsion. My brother was one of the founders, and I have myself found it a very soothing atmosphere.”
Our partner site, The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has as great quiz for the true Sherlockian. Yes, I hear you scoff, “How hard can that be?” Let me tell you, it’s pretty challenging! In this multiple choice game you’re given the first line to 10 of the stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Select the title that matches the first line from the drop down menu. I hope you enjoy The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Matching Quiz.
This is a book that I could really use! In Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes author Maria Konnikova combines the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with neuroscience and psychology. The result makes for interesting reading. It may also show us a way that we can improve our own thinking.
For Holmes aficionados and casual readers alike, Konnikova reveals how the world’s most keen-eyed detective can serve as an unparalleled guide to upgrading the mind.
Looking for a good book to read over the weekend? Check out List of Seven by Mark Frost. Frost, a co-creator of the Twin Peaks television series, brings us an entertaining mystery featuring a young Arthur Conan Doyle. The novel opens in London of 1884 when things go horribly wrong at a seance. To solve the mystery, Conan Doyle joins forces with special agent Jack Sparks. Together they pursue a deadly group of Victorian Satanists known as the Dark Brotherhood.
Here’s what one reader had to say . . .
There are books that are OK, books you like, books you love, and then there a another whole class of very special uber-books that you flat-out enjoy, devour every page, and feel devastated when they are finished.