The Best Short Story in the World

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

The Best Short Story in the World. Verdicts of Authors and Critics. is a nonfiction piece by Robert Machray. It was first published in the 13 december 1919 issue (Fine Christmas Number) of John O'London's Weekly, London. In this piece, he tried to determine the best short story in the world by asking various authors and critics their opinion on the subject [1]. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the authors asked to participate.

Robert Machray introduction was: « With a view to obtaining some decision as to which short story is the best in the world, and incidentally to get an idea of what the short story is, I invited some representative British authors, most of whom are famous writers of short stories, and several eminent critics to pronounce a verdict, or rather their verdicts, for unanimity was hardly to be expected. The following are the verdicts given (a) on the best short story in the world, and (b) the best short story in English. »

The Best Short Story in the World. Verdicts of Authors and Critics.

John O'London's Weekly

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:—

It is quite impossible to single out a story. I could name a couple of dozen equally good.

1. Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Pavilion on the Links" — in the original Cornhill version; it was emasculated in the book version, "New Arabian Nights."

2. Edgar Allan Poe's "The Gold Bug."

3. Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."

4. Maupassant's "Le Horla."

5. Daudet's "Siege of Berlin."

6. Bret Hart's "Tennessee's Partner."

7. Kipling's "The Man Who Would be King" and "The Brushwood Boy."

  1. Participating authors and critics were : Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mr. W. L. Courtney, Mr. W. W. Jacobs, Mr. George Saintsbury, Mr. John Galsworthy, Mr. W. J. Locke, Mr. Leonard Merrick, Mr. Maurice Hewlett, Mr. Arthur Symons, Mr. Horace Vachell