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

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Obituary Scientific American)

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is an article published in the Scientific American in september 1930.

Obituary of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Scientific American
(september 1930, p. 175)

After an illness of two months, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died of heart trouble at his home in Sussex, England, on July 7. Famous throughout the world as the creator of that super-detective of fiction, Sherlock Holmes, he was in late years a diligent student and an ardent believer in spiritism. Considering this as a sort of religion, as "infinitely more important than literature, art, politics, or, in fact, anything else in the world," he was annoyed that he was known chiefly for his creation of Sherlock Holmes, and grieved because his friends did not share his unfaltering belief in the spirit world.

Sir Arthur was interested in writing from earliest childhood, having written his first book at the age of six and achieved fame as a story-teller among his early school-mates. His later education was in medicine and he was a practicing physician for several years. His first recognition as an author came when he wrote "Micah Clarke," in 1888, a year after his first volume of Sherlock Holmes ; and he won his knighthood with his apologia for the Boer War. The loss of his eldest son in the World War was largely responsible for his devotion to spiritism during his later years.

Sir Arthur was for many years a reader of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN; and while our opinion relative to psychic, or spiritistic, phenomena, differed from his, we always counted him one of our firmest friends. It may be supposed that the untrammeled imagination which created the greatest detective of fiction "created" much of the spirit world of which he has been called a sort of "Bishop," but that may be countered with the argument that perhaps the practical, analytical mind that worked out Sherlock's crime solutions discovered truths still unknown to many of us. As yet we are not ready to admit either; we are open-minded.