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Visit of Dr. Conan Doyle to Leeds

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Visit of Dr. Conan Doyle to Leeds is an article published in The Leeds Mercury on 16 november 1893.

Visit of Dr. Conan Doyle to Leeds

The Leeds Mercury
(16 november 1893, p. 3)

"Facts about Fiction" was the title of an interesting address which Dr. A. Conan Doyle gave in the Albert Hall last night, under the auspices of the Leeds Mechanics' Institute and Literary Society. A large audience had assembled to hear one of the most distinguished of the latter day authors, of whom the lecturer chiefly spoke, and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, whose detective skill has interested and fascinated thousands, met with a cordial welcome. It is just possible that many who were present went in the hope of seeing in the author some resemblance to the creation of his fancy. But if so, they were disappointed. Dr. Conan Doyle to look at is utmost the physical antithesis of Sherlock Holmes, but his is a fine presence. He is tall, broad-shouldered, with an open, winning face, and a deep, resounding voice, which fills the hall. His remarks were chiefly confined to the works of the young writers, among whom — modestly omitting himself — he reckoned. R. L. Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, J. M. Barrie, Rider Haggard, Olive Schreiner, Rolf Boldrewood — an Australian, which real name, by the way, is Brown — Robert Barr, Gilbert Parker, Quiller Couch, Jerome K. Jerome, and Bret Harte. In their hands, he said, the best traditions, of English literature were safe — a matter of congratulation, for in the literature of our county lay her greatest glory. It was one thing which we could not lose, a permanent asset. Come what might in the future, that always remained; and the long line of British authors, which extended through the centuries from the days of Chaucer to the present time, must always show how high the tide of thought had surged in these islands. The material glories of Greece and Rome had departed, but their literature remained intact. The Forum and the Colosseum were now crumbling masses of ruins; but Homer, Virgil, and Horace were as fresh to us as they were to their contemporaries. In this sense it might well be said that the marble of men's shaping vanished like a dream, but the dreams of men's shaping had outlived the marble. The lecturer was loudly applauded at the close of his address.