Literature at the Booksellers' Dinner

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Literature at the Booksellers' Dinner is an article including a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in The Freeman's Journal on 19 april 1893.

Article and Letter

The Freeman's Journal (19 april, p. 4)

At the Booksellers' trade dinner, held in London the other evening, Dr Conan Doyle responded to the toast of "Literature." In so able speech the distinguished novelist spoke of the federation of literature. Anglo-Saxon voices, he asserted, were breaking out from all parts of the earth — Kipling from India, Oliver Schreiner from South Africa, Rolf Boldrewood from Australia. Dr Doyle did not believe English literature was losing its strengtgh or vitality. To yesterday's Standard he sends the following letter, which explains itself, apropos of his speech—

Sir — One or two trivial errors have crept into your reporter's account of my remarks upon the shubject of literature at the booksellers' dinner. I did not say that Homer was an Australian. Seven cities claimed him as their own, but Melbourne was not on the list. I said that Boldrewood, Hornung, and others were forming an Australian school of writers.
Again, I did not say that Horace was a man with a club approaching him. I said he saw the club-bore, which is a much more serious matter. I mentioned two well-known Canadian writers, Gilbert Parker and Robert Barr. Even the desirability of brevity does not justify your representative in telescoping then together, and naming the compound Gilbert Barr. I should be obliged if you would publish this slight correction.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
A. Conan Doyle.
Reform Club, April 17.