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Arthur Conan Doyle was secretly unhappy with his creation of Sherlock Holmes, historian says | Arthur Conan Doyle


Arthur Conan Doyle secretly hated his creation Sherlock Holmes and blamed the cerebral detective persona for denying him recognition as an author of high-profile historical fiction, according to historian Lucy Worsley.

Doyle was catapulted from “obscurity to worldwide fame” after his detective stories began appearing in a magazine in 1891, Worsley wrote in the Radio Times. Eleven years later he received a knighthood.

Yet “under the surface he was a disgruntled man,” according to Worsley.

Conan Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his Sherlock stories after first contacting the intellectual magazine Cornhill. “It was only after they and two others rejected Mr. Holmes that he was finally accepted by a fourth, much trashier editor. They said the work was exactly what they were looking for: “cheap fiction.”

Holmes was lucrative for Conan Doyle, but the author decided to kill him once he had made him enough money, sending him over a Swiss waterfall in 1893.

“A decade later, however, Arthur was prompted to resurrect it when an American publisher offered him the equivalent of $1.6 million,” Worsley wrote.

“Arthur must have hated himself. And he would have hated that today, 93 years after his death, his historical novels went unread, while his “cheap” but beloved detective lived forever on our screens.”

Sherlock Holmes is the most popular fictional detective in history. Conan Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories about the brain’s pursuit of criminals using its observational skills and powers of deduction.

Most of the stories are told by Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson, who shared his quarters at 221B Baker Street.

The Sherlock Holmes stories have been adapted for stage, film and television, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Cushing, Roger Moore, Ian McKellen, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston and Jonathan Pryce among those who have played the stag-hatted detective . Basil Rathbone played Holmes in 14 films.

Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh and trained as a doctor before taking up writing. He was twice an unsuccessful candidate for Parliament and became fascinated by spiritualism after the death of his son. The writer died of a heart attack in 1930, at the age of 71.



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