Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was the creator of Sherlock Holmes
and Professor Challenger
. He wrote many other stories, but mostly only the ones regarding the famous detective are remembered now. Recently he's appeared as a fictional character in a series of murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde
and Robert Sherard as the Holmes/Watson characters. Anyone with an interest in medieval history and historical fiction should read his novel The White Company
, providing both an fairly accurate depiction of the subject for its time (and the knowledge they had), and a fine insight into A.C.D.'s own time; British Imperialism, The Empire (after all it was the largest ever), and the mentality that justified and drove it.
Works by Arthur Conan Doyle with their own trope pages include:
Other works by Arthur Conan Doyle provide examples of:
- Agnosticism: He was a firm agnostic before his Creator Breakdown.
- Artistic License - Geography / Artistic License - Geology: The Terror of Blue John Gap has the titular cave (a source of the semi-precious stone Blue John) several miles from Castleton in Derbyshire. Blue John is in fact only found in the immediate vicinity of Castleton.
- Blood-Stained Letter: "The Horror of the Heights" is about an aviator who discovered fantastic creatures living high in the atmosphere, but who later crashed and all that was recovered from the wreckage was a torn and bloody journal telling of something that had been following him.
- Creator Breakdown: His friend Harry Houdini believed this had happened after the deaths of several of his loved ones, following which Doyle became a devout believer in spiritualism and made his rationalist character Professor Challenger follow the same route. Houdini unsuccessfully tried to show him it was false by debunking spirit mediums, but to no avail. Doyle instead started to believe that Houdini himself had Psychic Powers, which he used to "disrupt" others, and perform some of his most hard-to-figure out magic tricks.
- Deadpan Snarker: A questionnaire he filled out in 1899 for a parlor game and discovered among his papers indicates that he was full of this trope:
Q: Your favorite virtue?
Q: Your favorite qualities in a man?
Q: Your favorite qualities in a woman?
Q: If not yourself, who would you be?
ACD: ghpsbgllspjgngltjshgpynshf (hope this is clear)
Q: Where would you like to live?
Q: Your favorite food and drink?
ACD: Anything when hungry.
Q: What is your present state of mind?
- Our Fairies Are Different: He believed that the photos of the Cottingley Fairies were genuine and championed them in the press.
- Famous Last Words: "You are wonderful". Directed towards his wife.
- Flying Seafood Special: The Horror Of The Heights.
- Mummy: Lot 249 is about a man siccing a mummy on his enemies.
- My Card: Common due to the Victorian setting.
- Napoleonic Wars: The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard and The Adventures of Brigadier Gerard. Loosely based on the (themselves not very reliable) memoirs of French general Marbot.
- Odd Friendship: In "My Friend the Murderer".
- Our Vampires Are Different: "The Americans Tale", "The Parasite"
- Self-Made Man: Doyle was born into near povertry in Scotland and more or less built his career and fortune from the ground up.
- Take That: To Sherlock Holmes in "The Story of the Lost Special", when an unnamed "amateur reasoner" writes to the papers suggesting a solution to the mystery, and uses Holmes's catchphrase about eliminating the impossible. As it turns out, his suggestion is not only far-fetched but completely wrong.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: The twist of "Selecting a Ghost".
- The Boer War: Wrote about it, including a defense of Britain's role that got him a knighthood.
- We Help the Helpless: Doyle himself in real life had a soft spot for sad stories. Doyle was even known as the Champion of the Oppressed for some time after his much publized campaign against Racial Profiling (most notably when he helped to prove the innocence of George Edalji, a British Asian solicitor who had been falsely convicted of animal mutilation due to anonymous denunciations and police racism).
- Really Four Thousand Years Old: The Ring of Thoth.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Ring of Thoth.
- Wooden Ships and Iron Men: Doyle briefly worked as a crewmember of a whaling ship, and provides a vidid description of this trope in his memoirs.
- Write Who You Know: Professor Challenger and Sherlock Holmes were both based in teachers he had. Challenger on a biology teacher named William Rutherford, a large, baritone-voiced and eccentric bearded man, and Holmes on Joseph Bell, a teacher who used Holmes' brand of deduction on his patients.