The life of Arthur Conan Doyle illustrates the excitement and diversity of the Victorian age unlike that of any other single figure of the period. At different points in his life he was a surgeon on a whaling ship; a GP; an apprentice eye-surgeon; an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate (twice); a multi-talented sportsman; one of the inventors of cross-country skiing in Switzerland; a formidable public speaker; a campaigner against miscarriages of justice; a military strategist; a writer in a range of forms; and the head of an extraordinary family. In his autobiography, he wrote: 'I have had a life which, for variety and romance, could, I think, hardly be exceeded.' He was not wrong. But Conan Doyle was also a Victorian with a twist, a man of tensions and contradictions. He was fascinated by travel, exploration, and invention, indeed all things modern and technological; yet at the same time he was also very traditional, voicing support for values such as chivalry, duty, constancy, and honour. By the time of his death in July 1930 he was a celebrity, achieving worldwide fame and notoriety for his creation of the rationalist, scientific super-detective Sherlock Holmes; yet at the same time his later decades were taken up with his advocacy of the new religion of Spiritualism, in which he was a devoted believer.
Micah Clarkeby Arthur Conan Doyle
This historical novel, first published in 1889, was Doyle's third book -- his first hardcover one, preceded only by the two paper-wrappered titles A Study in Scarlet and The Mystery of Cloomber. Micah Clarke was quite successful, running through several quick printings, though Doyle had to take it to numerous publishers before Andrew Lang at Longmans finally accepted… See more details below
This historical novel, first published in 1889, was Doyle's third book -- his first hardcover one, preceded only by the two paper-wrappered titles A Study in Scarlet and The Mystery of Cloomber. Micah Clarke was quite successful, running through several quick printings, though Doyle had to take it to numerous publishers before Andrew Lang at Longmans finally accepted it. Doyle brought together his knowledge of the seventeenth century and supplemented it with months of research on detail. Then, at intervals of tramping medical rounds or studying optics at the Portsmouth Eye Hospital, he wrote the book in three months.
Now the power of Micah Clarke, aside from its best action scenes -- the bloodhounds on Salisbury Plain, the brush with the King's Dragoons, the fight in Wells Cathedral, the blinding battle scene at Sedgemoor -- still lies in its characterization: that other imagination, the use of homely detail, by which each character grows into life before ever a shot is fired in war.
It was attempt by Conan Doyle to present the story of the Puritans in a more favorable light than generally thought of in England at the time the book was written - a historical romance about the Monmouth rebellion and 'Hanging Judge' Jeffries. told by a humble adherent of the Duke of Monmouth - the whole story of the rising in Somerset, the triumphant advance towards Bristol and Bath, and the tragic rout at Sedgemoor (1685).
- Kessinger Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.87(d)
Meet the Author
- Date of Birth:
- May 22, 1859
- Date of Death:
- July 7, 1930
- Place of Birth:
- Edinburgh, Scotland
- Place of Death:
- Crowborough, Sussex, England
- Edinburgh University, B.M., 1881; M.D., 1885
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