Astounding, Holmes! Doctor Watson must have said that line a thousand times in Sherlock Holmes stories, and today we celebrate the man who created them both on
INTERNATIONAL ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE DAY!
Contrary to popular belief, his last name was Doyle, not Conan-Doyle, and he was a practicing physician (his Watson side) who found the time to write. He also found time to dabble in politics, Spiritualism and correcting injustices, campaigning to free several prominent men wrongly convicted of serious crimes (his Holmes side).
Doyle was also a friend to legendary illusionist Harry Houdini, who briefly shared his interest in the Spiritualist pursuit of attempting to contact the dead.
Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories revolutionized the crime novel genre, and Holmes’ methods of logic and deduction became the template for real-life police investigations to this day. The most famous fictional detective of all time could never have been the genius he was if not for his creator’s sheer brilliance.
The good Doctor Doyle’s detective became so successful that he grew tired of the demands of the character and killed Holmes off at the end of one novel in a death duel with his arch-nemesis Professor James Moriarty, only to be forced to “resurrect” him by overwhelming popular outcry, and Holmes returned to solve more mysteries.
Here’s to Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, literary and investigative pioneer, and the proud owner of a wicked pointy mustache.
•Suggested Activities: Observation, deduction, detection.