Through the Magic Door

Overview

"My judgments may differ very far from yours, and my likings may be your abhorrence; but the mere thinking and talking of books is in itself good, be the upshot what it may. " Was it the future we were looking at last week, as we passed around the first Electronic Book to arrive in our offices? Big changes may indeed be heralded by the plastic high-tech gadget we perplexedly examined; but they won't, I feel sure, really have anything to do with what we unregenerate readers mean when we say we love books—love ...
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Through the Magic Door

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Overview

"My judgments may differ very far from yours, and my likings may be your abhorrence; but the mere thinking and talking of books is in itself good, be the upshot what it may. " Was it the future we were looking at last week, as we passed around the first Electronic Book to arrive in our offices? Big changes may indeed be heralded by the plastic high-tech gadget we perplexedly examined; but they won't, I feel sure, really have anything to do with what we unregenerate readers mean when we say we love books—love reading them, yes, but also love holding them in our hands, turning their pages, having them, and keeping them intimately present in, and as expressions of, our lives in those testaments to our bookishness, our personal libraries. The myriad significances of a serious reader's collection of books is warmly and evocatively demonstrated in a relatively unknown little work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which was brought to our attention by George MacDonald Fraser (see his Introduction to our edition of The White Company & Sir Nigel). Through the Magic Door is Conan Doyle's casually eloquent, heartfelt tour of some of the cherished books on his own shelves—"no volume there which is not a dear, personal friend"—and I can't recall reading anything which better conveys a sense of what it means to take books to heart. The battered old volumes purchased when to buy one meant going without a meal; the flawless stories which awakened an interest in becoming a writer; the classic biographies or histories which opened the past to an eager imagination: each book prompts an essay in appreciation, reflections both personal and literary. Thus as we gain insight into the mind of Holmes's creator, we also partake in bookish talk of the first order, reminded about works we've already read, guided enthusiastically to others that have eluded us.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781494972264
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/11/2014
  • Pages: 78
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (22 May 1859- 7 July 1930) was both a writer and physician; and is best known for his fictional works about detective Sherlock Homes. Sir Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland from English and Irish descent. During his lifetime he married twice and fathered five children. He pursued an independent medical practice, an opthomology practice, ran for political office and personally investigated 2 cases that resulted in the exoneration of the accused.

In his 50's, Sir Doyle explored spiritualism and the concepts of eternal life and the true essence of life. During this time he wrote several works: The Land of Mist, The Coming of the Fairies and The History of Spiritualism.

Biography

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. After nine years in Jesuit schools, he went to Edinburgh University, receiving a degree in medicine in 1881. He then became an eye specialist in Southsea, with a distressing lack of success. Hoping to augment his income, he wrote his first story, A Study in Scarlet. His detective, Sherlock Holmes, was modeled in part after Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, a man with spectacular powers of observation, analysis, and inference. Conan Doyle may have been influenced also by his admiration for the neat plots of Gaboriau and for Poe's detective, M. Dupin. After several rejections, the story was sold to a British publisher for £25, and thus was born the world's best-known and most-loved fictional detective. Fifty-nine more Sherlock Holmes adventures followed.

Once, wearying of Holmes, his creator killed him off, but was forced by popular demand to resurrect him. Sir Arthur -- he had been knighted for this defense of the British cause in his The Great Boer War -- became an ardent Spiritualist after the death of his son Kingsley, who had been wounded at the Somme in World War I. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in Sussex in 1930.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 22, 1859
    2. Place of Birth:
      Edinburgh, Scotland
    1. Date of Death:
      July 7, 1930
    2. Place of Death:
      Crowborough, Sussex, England

Table of Contents

Through the magic door; Index.

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