Jules Castier

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Jules Castier (10 april 1888 - 1957) was a French engineer, poet, writer and translator.

In 1912, he wrote Parisianités, a collection of poems about Paris.

In 1920, he wrote in english Rather Like... Some Endeavours to Assume the Mantles of the Great (Herbert Jenkins Ltd., London), a collection of 34 pastiches of 34 British authors including Arthur Conan Doyle. In the foreword, he explained how he wrote these pastiches while emprisoned in Germany during WWI:

« On December 2nd, 1914, I had the misfortune to be captured by the Germans in Alsace, and remained a prisoner till after the Armistice was signed. After a few uneventful months at Heidelberg, I came into collision with the authorities, and remained so till the end, passing through a series of imprisonments, court-martials, more imprisonments, reprisals and the like : I was even tried once (and sentenced) for high treason. My greatest solace lay in reading whenever I was allowed books ; and I hit upon the idea of attempting to parody some of the authors for amusement's sake. When next in a period of comparative liberty, I read some of my stuff to some English comrades, who were kind enough to express their satisfaction, and to advise me to seek publication which I did.
« My publisher tells me I should explain this (which I do à mon corps défendant), also that I am a Frenchman, and that not so much as a comma in my M.S. has been altered since it left my hands. He no doubt has his own very good reasons for imposing upon me the irksome task of endeavouring to explain myself. For this explanation and for the parodies themselves, I beg to tender my apologies to all concerned. »

His pastiche of Arthur Conan Doyle, The Footprints on the Ceiling, includes several characters of Conan Doyle fictions: Professor George E. Challenger, Lord John Roxton, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Mr. E. D. Malone.

After the war, he worked as a translator of great British authors such as Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, Rudyard Kipling or Oscar Wilde.