Sunday, May 22, 2011

Arthur Conan Doyle

Thus does Dr. Watson describe his roommate, Sherlock Holmes, in their first tale, A Study in Scarlet: "His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination. His hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, yet he was possessed of extraordinary delicacy of touch, as I frequently had occasion to observe when I watched him manipulating his fragile philosophical instruments."

Sir A.C. Doyle was born on this date, May 22, in 1859. His signature character was introduced to the world in 1888. Doyle did try to kill him off, tossing him over Reichenbach Falls along with Professor Moriarty in "The Final Problem," but pressure from fans forced Doyle to resurrect him. Even after Doyle's death in 1930, Holmes would live on, not only in Doyle's own stories and the movies and other entertainments based on them, but in new adventures written by others. If any fictional character can be said to be immortal, it is Sherlock Holmes.

Fans wanting more should start with the official Doyle site, which goes beyond the famous detective to other aspects of Doyle's life.

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