Detective, Ghostbuster and Goalie


On 22nd May 1859, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh. Everyone knows this Scottish writer for his most famous characters, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, but, before becoming a writer, he studied medicine and worked as a doctor! As well as detective fiction, he wrote many historical stories and a science fiction novel The Lost World (1912), which raised public interest in dinosaurs for the first time.

But Doyle wasn’t only a writer. In 1908, he actually helped to solve a real life mystery too. He used Holmes style techniques to aid police investigations into a murder in Glasgow. He was also a great sportsman and played cricket in a team with other authors, like J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan) and A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh). He was also a goalkeeper, a boxer and a golfer. His interests spread to politics, social justice and botany.

One rather unusual side to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle can be seen in his love of magic and the paranormal. He often attended séances; spiritualist meetings where the participants tried to contact the dead. This shocked many people who considered him a man of logic. In 1894, with a team of ‘Ghostbusters’, he investigated paranormal happenings in a house in England. He also believed in fairies!

This man of many talents died on 7th July 1930. Coincidentally, this is the same day that his character, Dr Watson also died.


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Illustration by Paolo D’Altan, taken from Sherlock Holmes Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Reading & Training Step 1 (A2)