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

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:Chronology

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This is a succinct chronology of the very dense life of Arthur Conan Doyle. For a complete chronology, refer to the excellent book by Brian W. Pugh : A Chronology of the Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


1859 22 may Birth of Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle in Edinburgh, second child of Charles Altamont Doyle and Mary Foley.
1870 autumn Arthur attended school at the jesuit Stonyhurst Public School.
1875 july Arthur passed his London Matriculation Examination at Stonyhurst College.
1875 september He spent a year at a jesuit college in Austria, Feldkirch, to improve his German.
1876 june He sojourned several weeks in Paris, 65 Avenue de Wagram, in his great-uncle and godfather, Michael Edward Conan. Conan's name has ben given in tribute to him.
  fall Conan Doyle attended the Edinburgh University of Medecine. Two of his teachers, the surgeon of the hospital, Joseph Bell, and Rutherford, served as a model of inspiration for his characters of Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger (The Lost World).
1878 april He became doctor's assistant to Dr. Charles Richardson in Sheffield for 3 weeks.
1879 september Publication of his first short story: The Mystery of Sasassa Valley.
1880 february He started as surgeon on the whaler Hope bound in Arctic for 7 months.
1881 october He graduated in medicine and surgery.
1882 january He sailed as a doctor aboard the Mayumba who sailed to the coast of Guinea (West Africa).
  may He opened an office in Plymouth and in Southsea, Portsmouth.
1885 6 august He married Louisa Hawkins, the sister of one of his patients.
1886 march-april A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes adventure, rejected by several publishers before finding a buyer (accepted by a letter dated 30 october 1886 by Ward, Lock & Co.).
1887 26 january He was initiated as a freemason of the Phoenix Lodge No. 257, Southsea, Portsmouth.
  december Publication of A Study in Scarlet in the Beeton's Christmas Annual.
1889 january Birth of her daughter Mary Louise.
  february Publication of Micah Clarke, "It was the first solid corner-stone laid for some sort of literary reputation" Conan Doyle wrote in his memories.
1890 february American magazine Lippincott's Magazine published The Sign of Four, the second adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Then in april, he began writing The White Company which will end in july 1890 (published from january to december 1891 in The Cornhill Magazine).
  april Publication of his novel, The Firm of Girdlestone.
  december Doyle closed his medical practice in Portsmouth and decided to specialize in ophthalmology.
1891 january He studied ophthalmology in Vienna (Austria).
  march He returnedto London via Paris to meet Landolt, the French specialist in ophthalmology.
  End march He opened a practice in London, 2 Upper Wimpole Street.
  july Publication of A Scandal in Bohemia, the first adventure of Sherlock Holmes as a short story in The Strand Magazine.
  august Conan Doyle gave up medicine and became a full time writer. He moved to South Norwood (12 Tennison Road).
1892 summer He made a trip in Norway with Jerome K. Jerome. He discovered the pleasure of skiing in Switzerland and introduce this practice as a recreational sport a few months later.
  october Publication of The Great Shadow (story where the author expressed his fascination for Napoleon).
  november Birth of his son Kingsley.
1893 May Publication of The Refugees.
  august His wife Louisa diagnosed with tuberculosis.
  october Death of his father Charles Altamont Doyle.
  december The Strand Magazine published The Adventure of the Final Problem, where Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty fell at Reichenbach Falls (Switzerland) freeing the author who wishes to devote to a "more serious literary work.
1894 december Publication of The Parasite and The Medal of Brigadier Gerard (Napoleonic story announcing a long series).
1895 spring He returned to England. He decided to build a house in Surrey when he was told that the air is even better than Davos to treat tuberculosis.
  july Publication of The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard in The Strand Magazine.
  november He travelled to Egypt for the sake of his wife, during the completion of the construction of his house in Surrey. He will find the inspiration for The Tragedy of the Korosko (published in 1898). He witnessed the conflict between the British and the dervishes. He became war correspondent for The Westminster Gazette.
1896 november Publication of Rodney Stone (novel about boxing).
1897 january Publication of his first pirate adventure of Captain Sharkey in Pearson's Magazine. Two others will follow in march and may.
  15 march While visiting London, Conan Doyle falls in love for a woman in her twenties, Jean Leckie. For respect to his wife, he began a platonic relationship.
  may Publication of Uncle Bernac, a Napoleonic novel.
1899 12 june First performance of the William Gillette's play Sherlock Holmes, written with Conan Doyle. Gillette played the detective during 35 years.
1900 february Conan Doyle went to South Africa in Bloemfontein as a doctor during the Boer War. He met the young Winston Churchill. He returned to England on 10 july.
  october He is defeated in parliamentary elections as an Unionist candidate in Edinburgh.
  december Publication of his essay The Great Boer War.
1901 august Publication in The Strand Magazine of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
1902 16 january Publication of his essay The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct, which was published in twenty countries.
  24 october Knighted by the king, he becomes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle after thinking refuse this honor (in The Adventure of the Three Garridebs, Sherlock receives the same proposal in june 1902 but he refused it).
1903 september After the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles, an American publisher offered him 45,000 pounds for thirteen new adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle accepted and resurrected his hero in The Adventure of the Empty House.
1904 january He continued his research on the Middle Ages, interrupted by the Boer War, to write a novel, whose action takes place before The White Company, which will be serialized in The Strand Magazine in 1905 and 1906 under the title Sir Nigel.
1905 august On the occasion of the signing of the Entente Cordiale, he received at his home in Surrey, a delegation of French naval officers, on an official visit, led by Vice Admiral Caillard.
1906 january New electoral defeat.
  july Death of his wife Louisa.
1907 18 may George Edalji was exonerated.
  18 september He married Jean Leckie. George Edalji was invited.
  november He moved to Crowborough in Sussex.
1909 17 march Birth of his son Denis.
  25 may He struggled to avoid the death penalty on Oscar Slater, accused of murder, the death penalty was commuted to life in prison and innocence will be recognized in 1927.
1910 19 november Birth of his son Adrian (who will wrote The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes with John Dickson Carr).
1912 april Publication of The Lost World.
  21 december Birth of his daughter Lena Jean.
1913 11 march Campaigning for the Channel Tunnel.
1914 27 may He started a lecturingtour about litterature in North America and Canada.
  august After declaration of war with Germany, he formed a group of local volunteers.
  september Publication of The Valley of Fear.
1916 may During the war, Conan Doyle was reporting on French and Italian fronts.
1917 october Publication of the short story His Last Bow where Sherlock Holmes appears on the eve of the First World War, which is the latest adventure of the hero from a chronological point of view.
1918 28 october His eldest son Kingsley died of the Spanish flu, weakened by a war wound received during the Battle of the Somme.
1920 march Conan Doyle met Harry Houdini, and became friends.
  september He started a lecturing tour on spiritualism in Australia and New Zealand.
  30 december Death of his mother. His wife discovered mediumnic talents.
1922 1 september Publication of The Coming of the Fairies.
1924 september Publication of his autobiography Memories and Adventures.
1925 summer He opened The Psychic Bookshop, 2 Victoria Street, London.
1927 march Publication of its latest Sherlock Holmes short story in Liberty magazine, The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place.
1928 november He started a trip to South Africa throught Egypt.
1930 7 july Exhausted by lectures worldwide, he died of a heart attack at his home.





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