Tag Archives: Conan Doyle


The Age of Magic

If you think of Houdini as a man of art, you also have to think of him as a man of science. As most artists in the past, he is always working at the edge of technological development…That’s why I think when you see interesting magic today, you have to think about films, imagination. That’s […]


Friday Fun: Feeling Bookish?

When am I not? In the newly released Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books, contemporary authors including Philip Pullman, Claire Messud, Lev Grossman and Alison Bechdel talk shelving and the future of books. Speaking of shelves, Brainpicker’s selections from December 2009 are worth a second look. Books now provide the “dressing” and the inspiration […]


If the Spirit Moves You

It is commonly assumed that authors’ characters are, in one way or another, reflections of themselves, but Arthur Conan Doyle’s own worldview diverged strikingly from that held by his most beloved creation. In the report he makes to Holmes after arriving at Baskerville Hall, Dr. Watson imagines what type of people once inhabited the area, […]


Male ‘BFF’ Turn-of-the-Century Style

As A.O. Scott points out in his (tepid) review of Hollywood’s latest Sherlock Holmes adaptation, “Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective, with his violin, his deerstalker and his steel-trap mind, has been one of the most resilient and adaptable figures in Anglophone popular culture.” The resilient appeal of Conan Doyle’s original stories and the detective himself, however, […]


Julian Barnes on Arthur Conan Doyle

From an interview with AbeBooks: Why did the story of George Edjali and his court case fascinate you and end up as the focal point of Arthur and George? Well, it seemed a) a very unusual story (the animal mutilation, the miscarriage of justice, the racial aspect); and b) something that could still happen today, […]


Arthur & George

Julian Barnes’s 2005 historical novel Arthur & George introduces Arthur Conan Doyle as a real life detective after the example of his own creation. Conan Doyle and George Edalji (prounced Ay-dl-ji), a Birmingham solicitor, might easily never have met, but Conan Doyle’s intercession in Edalji’s case exonerated him and freed him from prison, exposing the […]


Author’s Picks

With only three weeks of 2011 remaining, it’s the season of ‘best’ lists. In that spirit, the twelve stories linked below are those Arthur Conan Doyle himself selected as his favorites in 1927 from the canon of 56 short stories (not to mention the four novels). 12. “The Reigate Puzzle” 11. “The Musgrave Ritual” 10. […]

Paper tree

Tree Paper Scissors

This exquisite paper ‘poetree’ appeared in March as an anonymous gift to the Scottish Poetry Library, followed in June by a gramophone and coffin carved from the pages of an Ian Rankin novel. More statues followed, including this gloves of bee’s fur, cap of wren’s wing and a Tyrannosaurus Rex emerging from the pages of […]

Screen Shot

Analyzable: Arthur Conan Doyle

Notes on the writerly ‘voice’ of Arthur Conan Doyle, from the September/October issue of Intelligent Life magazine: ‘Dr Watson doesn’t write to you, he talks to you, with Edwardian courtesy, across a glowing fire.’ So said John le Carré, one of many writers in thrall to Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). His most famous creation, Sherlock […]


1902: The Hound of the Baskervilles

In the third of Arthur Conan Doyle’s four classic detective novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles, that master of deduction Sherlock Holmes and his trustworthy companion, Dr. Watson, face a seemingly supernatural foe, a gigantic hound that stalks the heirs of the Baskerville fortune. First serialized in The Strand Magazine, the story also played the […]