Creator / Arthur Conan Doyle

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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. The television series Houdini & Doyle provides a fictionalized account of his real-life friendship with magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. Anyone with an interest in medieval history and historical fiction should read his novel The White Company, providing both a 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:

  • 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.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Doyle accumulated a huge archive of letters, journals, stories and notes for stories. Rumored to be worth about four million dollars, it disappeared after his death. It seems that most of his kids were complete Jerk Ass wastrels who wanted to sell it to maintain their Idle Rich lifestyles. Jean Conan Doyle DBE, the steadiest of the children, apparently got hold of it and willed it all to The British Library. Instead, after her death the massive collection somehow turned up at auction — and this is where the story really starts, including the weird death (murder or suicide?) of one of the world's foremost Holmes scholars.
  • Fair for Its Day: Several of the Sherlock Holmes stories (on issues of sexism and inter-racial relationships), and especially the short story ''The Man With the Watches'' (which, despite ending in tragedy as usual, not only features fairly sympathetic gay characters, but has the homophobic narrator realize the error of his ways in the end, at least a little).
  • Flying Seafood Special: The Horror Of The Heights.
  • Masquerading As the Unseen: The short story "A Night Among the Nihilists" centers on an ordinary English merchant, who is mistaken for an agent of a terrorist cabal, since the cabal in Solteff, Russia knows only that their agent is an Englishman. He gets taken before their leaders to report on the progress of their "secret weapon". Despite knowing nothing about the terrorists or their plans, the good fellow is able to sustain a facade of competency.
  • Mummy: Lot 249 is about a man siccing a mummy on his enemies.
  • My Card: Common due to the Victorian setting.
  • Odd Friendship: In "My Friend the Murderer".
  • Our Vampires Are Different: "The Americans Tale", "The Parasite"
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The twist of "Selecting a Ghost".
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In his autobiography Doyle, several times, lists something absurdly ridiculous, and notes the reader will find it absolutely ridiculous, but comments that it's 100% true.
  • Really 700 Years Old: A character in The Ring of Thoth is four thousand years old.
  • 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.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Ring of Thoth.
  • 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.

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