Monday, July 7, 2014

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the genius behind Sherlock Holmes, died on this day in 1930

Conan Doyle had been suffering for some time from angina pectoris before his death. Despite this, the paranormal investigator embarked on a psychic tour of Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The journey, however, took its toll, and upon his return to England he had to be carried ashore. 

He remained bedridden from then on, but rose from his bed one chilly spring morn to venture into the garden. He was discovered lying on the ground, one hand clutched to his heart, the other holding a single white snowdrop.

The author embarked upon the "the most glorious adventure of all" on Monday, July 7th 1930. Surrounded by his loving family, Conan Doyle's final words were to his beloved wife Jean: "You are wonderful."

To the right is my favorite photo of Conan Doyle, looking fit and dapper, right down to his waxed mustaches. This is the Conan Doyle I have in mind when I sit down to write The Paranormal Casebooks.

The British Museum's web site features a manuscript page, in Conan Doyle's own hand, from a Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of the Missing Three Quarter," which was published in 1904.

Also on the web page is a rare audio recording of Conan Doyle (regrettably, no recordings exist of Wilde's voice) explaining how he came up with the concept of Sherlock Holmes as a young medical student in Edinburgh, inspired by Dr. James Bell, an instructor whose uncanny powers of observation were the inspiration for his fictional "consulting detective."