Entertaining Dr. Doyle

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Entertaining Dr. Doyle is an article published in the New-York Tribune on 18 november 1894.

Report of a dinner given by the Lotos Club (New York) in honor to Arthur Conan Doyle while he was lecturing in USA.

Entertaining Dr. Doyle

New-York Tribune (18 november 1894)

A dinner given in his honor at the Lotos Club.

Many men of note have in past years partaken of the hospitality of the Lotos Club. Sir Edwin Arnold and others, and lately Dean Hole, took their first peep at American clubdom through the portals of the Lotos, and last evening it again offered, as one of the speakers felicitously put it, the brotherhood of good fellows to one of the latest eminent British arrivals, Dr. A. Conan Doyle. Two hundred members and guests of the club were present to greet the English novelist, and the reception given him was warm and hearty.

Frank R. Lawrence, president of the Lotos, was toastmaster, and introduced Dr. Doyle. The creator of the only Sherlock Holmes told of the impressions he had formed of America from a professional viewpoint. He laughed at the idea that Americans sometimes complained that life over here was too prosaic. "You are hedged in with romance on every side," he said. "I can take a morning train in this city of New-York, I can pass up the historic and beautiful Hudson, and I can dine at Schenectady, where the Huron and Canadian did such bloody work. I feel keenly the romance of Europe; I love the memory of the shattered castle and the crumbling abbey; but to me the romance of the red-skin and trapper be more vivid, as being more recent.

"It is so piquant also" the doctor added, "to stay in a comfortable inn, where you can have your hair dressed by a barber at the same place where a century ago you might have been left with no hair to dress."

He spoke of the romance of the city, and said that a man who could look upon it and return over the seas with only a sneer for its wonders and charms was either hard-hearted or soft-headed.

Other speakers who welcomed Dr. Doyle were Chester S. Lord, Harrison P. Wallice, S. C. James, Edward Patterson, Abram S. Hewitt, William H. McElroy, Bartow S. Weeks, J. Seaver Page, Seth Low, Bourke Cockran, and besides the gust of the evening, John Bull was championed by David Christie Murray, the novelist, and Lieutenant Hay Doyle, brother of the doctor.

The dinner was served in the two parlors and the picture gallery of the club, and the entire building was handsomely decorated with palms and plants. Among those present were E. B. Harper, O. G. Smith, George T. Foster, Julius Chambers, Frederick Pennington, Randolph Guggenheimer, R. S. Ramson, J. W. Vrooman, Jerome E. Morse, A. S. Goodwin, George H. Wooster, Dr. W. W. Walker, Dr. C. I. Pardee, R. M. Phillips, L. L. Seaman, Horace See, J. H. Sprague and J. H. Cowperthwait.