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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

Mr. Adrian Conan Doyle (tribute)

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Mr. Adrian Conan Doyle is an article published in The Times on 20 june 1970.

Hommage by John Murray to Adrian Malcolm Conan Doyle (4th child of Arthur Conan Doyle) 3 weeks after his death.

Mr. Adrian Conan Doyle

The Times (20 june 1970, p. 12)

Mr. John Murray writes :—

As his friend and publisher, may I offer a tribute to Adrian Conan Doyle in addition to your obituary. Adrian was a highly original figure.

A romantic at heart, he added excitement and colour to the lives of all who knew him or heard of him; somehow he seemed larger than life, and he made both friends and enemies with an astonishing facility and intensity. His motor racing, his big game expeditions, about which he published books in addition to his own contribution to the Sherlock Holmes saga, were expressions of zest for adventure. Of his own achievements he was utterly without conceit. What some took to be arrogance was the expression of a life-long admiration for his father, Sir Arthur, his determination to honour his work and to defend it with any weapon, however out of date. His absorption of the ideals of chivalry and of the Middle Ages in his youth, when his father was at work on his historical novels, led him sometimes to actions which stimulated his anxious friends and bewildered his enemies. I remember his arrival in Albemarle Street, in a coat of chain armour in fury as being turned out of Hyde Park for jousting with a friend on horse-back in full accoutrements; for he was planning to revive this noble sport. Against literary critics who questioned the quality of his father's writing, he sorrowfully agreed that duelling was an inappropriate solution. These two driving forces were perfectly combined in the establishment of the Chateau de Lucens as a memorial to his father, and his spirited defence of it against the attacks by separatists who objected to the arms of the Canton de Berne which he had fixed over the port-cullis.

Any who considered the colour-fulness of his life as eccentricity had a narrow vision, for it was a living expression of a loyalty. Sincerity and gaiety, — qualities that are needed in the present age.