Monday, 28 November 2011

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Author of the Sherlock Holmes detective novels

I was not aware of the following information 

Whilst sudying medicine, Arthur Conan Doyle had a brief acquaintance with Burngreave in Sheffield. In 1878 he came to Sheffield to work as an assistant to Dr Charles Sydney Richardson on Spital Hill. This was in the building on the corner of Spital Hill and Hallcar Street, which is now the New Roots Café and Burngreave Ashram. It seems that Conan Doyle did not get along with Dr Richardson or Sheffield patients as he later wrote:

'These Sheffielders would rather be poisoned by a man with a beard than saved by a man without one"

It appears that he only lasted three weeks with Dr Richardson before moving at first to Shropshire working for a Dr Elliot and then to Birmingham where he was employed by a Dr Reginald Hoare
1882: Doyle set up as a Doctor in Plymouth with a fellow student from Edinburgh Dr George Budd but it was unsuccessful and the two did not get on. Doyle then set up in Elm Grove, Southsea near Portsmouth but had very few patients and therefore little money. He subsidised his income writing detective stories. His first story was accepted by Chambers Journal in Edinburgh.

Five years later he published the first of his Sherlock Holmes story "A Study in Scarlet" in Becton's Christmas Annual and had enough money to give up medicine. Holmes was reputedly based on one of his medical school lecturers Doctor Joseph Bell.

It makes you think that if Conan Doyle had got on with Dr Richardson would Sherlock Holmes have had offices in Spital Hill Sheffield as opposed to Baker Street London mmm....

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