The Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Mistakes of Authors

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Mistakes of Authors is an article published in The Leeds Mercury on 7 october 1905.

The Arthur Conan Doyle's story mentioned in the article is The Adventure of the Norwood Builder (1903).

Mistakes of Authors

The Leeds Mercury
(7 october 1905, p. 18)

Curious critics, however, might make quite a large collection of these "book blunders." Dickens was by no means infallible. He put the new moon in the east in the evening; he came to grief over the Dingley Dell cricket match; he made Tony Weller's second wife Sam's mother-in-law; and he described how, in the depth of winter, Mr. Squeers set his unfortunate boys hoeing turnips. That delightful modern humorist, Mr. Pett Ridge, in "Lost Property," makes one his characters deposit ninepence in the Post-office Savings Bank, forgetting, for the moment, that only even shillings will be accepted; and in another book has written of cricket, in which there were "cuts" and "drives" to leg. Sir Conan Doyle, in one of his best Sherlock Holmes stories, makes a scheming lawyer draw up a will in favour of himself — a proceeding which would make the document invalid.

The late John Hollingshead, in "The Story of Leicester-square," perpetrated a glorious bull, writing : "When Lord was killed he was living in Macclesfield House, Gerard-street, Soho, the back Leicester House, a site now occupied by the defunct Pelican Club." Even Sir Walter Scott made blunders, and in his fine ballad of "Young Lochinvar" he has this passage:—

So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
So light to the saddle before her he sprung

— which is a feat of horsemanship utterly impossible.

— From "A Slip of the Pen" in "T.P.'s Weekly."