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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Les Andelys

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Les Andelys (around 1900)
The grey house (below) is were Arthur Conan Doyle lived when he visited the town; the grey structures (above) are the ruins of Château Gaillard.

Les Andelys is a town in the Eure department in Normandy in northern France, 20 km south-east of Rouen.

The town is well-known for the ruins of its castle "Chateau Gaillard", built by Richard the Lionheart between 1196 and 1198, which inspired Arthur Conan Doyle in 2 of his novels (The White Company and The Refugees) and 2 of his short stories (The Lord of Château Noir and The Marriage of the Brigadier).

Conan Doyle and Les Andelys

  • Autumn 1870, his sister Annette (aged 14) was living at the Institution St. Clotilde (rue aux Prêtres) in Les Andelys, a boarding school for young girls. [1]
  • In april 1881, his other sister Lottie (aged 15) went in the same school in Les Andelys. [2]
  • Arthur Conan Doyle himself went several times in Les Andelys as stated in the interview of Mrs. Ricard in 1959 who hosted the British author in her family house (at 13 rue de Penthièvre, and on the other side : Quai Grimoult). The house is still here today. Interview below :

See translation

  • According to a 1959 French newspaper article, Conan Doyle told about Les Andelys to a friend of his family, Miss Berkley. She bought the house and named it "The Cottage". She bought it to an English writer Frank Harrett, whom wife died in the fire of Opéra-Comique of Paris (25 may 1887). Mrs. Ricard was the niece of Mrs Berkley. A lot of photos with Arthur Conan Doyle, kept in this house, were robbed during WWII by German soldiers. See article

Les Andelys in Conan Doyle's works

« "It is their fitting death. Mais Le Seigneur d'Andelys, avec le sang des rois dans ses veines ! C'est incroyable !" »

  • The Refugees (1893) : Onega de la Noue de Sainte Marie, chatelaine of Andelys castle.
« "Allow me to present you, Monsieur de Catinat," said the Seigneur de Sainte Marie solemnly, "to my wife, Onega de la Noue de Sainte Marie, chatelaine by right of marriage to this seigneury, and also to the Chateau d'Andelys in Normandy, and to the estate of Varennes in Provence, while retaining in her own right the hereditary chieftainship on the distaff side of the nation of the Onondagas. »

  • The Lord of Château Noir (1894) : During the Franco-Prussian war, Colonel von Gramm commanded in the little Norman town of Les Andelys.
« It was nearly eight when they left Les Andelys. At half-past eleven their guide stopped at a place where two high pillars, crowned with some heraldic stonework, flanked a huge iron gate. [..] The black chateau lay in front of them... »

  • The Marriage of the Brigadier (1910) : The Hussars of Conflans were in camp all that summer a few miles from the town of Les Andelys in Normandy.
« It is not a very gay place by itself, but we of the Light Cavalry make all places gay which we visit, and so we passed our time very pleasantly. Many years and many scenes have dulled my remembrance, but still the name Les Andelys brings back to me a huge ruined castle, great orchards of apple trees, and above all, a vision of the lovely maidens of Normandy.  »

  1. "The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes", by Andrew Lycett (Free Press [US], 2007, p. 36)
  2. "The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes", by Andrew Lycett (Free Press [US], 2007, p. 75)

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