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Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters
     

Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters

by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower, Charles Foley
 
This extraordinary annotated collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's private correspondence offers unique insight into one of the world's most popular authors. Detailing Conan Doyle's life from his beginnings as a country doctor, to his struggle with the success of Sherlock Holmes and his ultimate calling as the foremost spokesman for Spiritualism, Conan Doyle's

Overview

This extraordinary annotated collection of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's private correspondence offers unique insight into one of the world's most popular authors. Detailing Conan Doyle's life from his beginnings as a country doctor, to his struggle with the success of Sherlock Holmes and his ultimate calling as the foremost spokesman for Spiritualism, Conan Doyle's letters expose his innermost thoughts on literature, world events, and matters of the heart.\

Editorial Reviews

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) is an enigmatic subject fit for the skills of a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Though most renowned for his detective novels and stories, Doyle viewed them as a phase best outgrown. In a similar vein, he attributed his knighthood to an ephemeral pamphlet that he had written in support of the Boer War. This large-scale "life in letters" presents this talented, sometimes weirdly eccentric polymath in full autobiographical grandeur. A fascinating glimpse inside a life in motion.
Michael Sims
The three [editors] together amount to a formidable encyclopedia of Doyleiana, and their introduction and commentaries keep us oriented during the lively but occasionally tedious one-man show. Now and then the editors' additions are superfluous or repetitive, but mostly they provide unobtrusive enlightenment. The editors also insert quotations from Conan Doyle's fiction for apt and amusing contrast…Most of the letters in this volume are from Conan Doyle to his mother, resulting in an idealized self-portrait limited by what he was willing to tell "the Mam," as he called her. But their relationship was close, and throughout her life she hoarded letters from her increasingly famous son. They are an invaluable resource, full of vivid incidental details that bring the era to life…They also demonstrate how casually Arthur Conan Doyle could bring a scene to life.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

This fascinating collection of previously unpublished letters from the creator of Sherlock Holmes offers a revealing glimpse of a Renaissance man fated to be overshadowed by his most famous character. Beginning with correspondence from Doyle as an eight-year-old in 1867, the editors offer a warts-and-all picture of his life until 1920, 10 years before his death, covering the author's frank accounts of life at a boarding school, his struggles as a young doctor and aspiring writer, and his political advocacy. Those seeking insights into the creation of Holmes may be disappointed; while Doyle's ambivalence toward Holmes is well known, this collection reveals the extent to which he viewed his character principally as a source of income rather than a lasting legacy. The editors-Doyle experts Lellenberg and Stashower, and Doyle's great-nephew Foley-have nicely balanced the content: the letters reveal Doyle's stiff upper lip when he lost a son during the Great War, and his sense of humor, as in a hilarious report to his mother on the birth of his daughter Mary. This will be essential reading for all fans of Conan Doyle and his sleuth. (Andrew Lycett's biography of Conan Doyle, The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes,is due from the Free Press this fall.) Illus. (Nov. 1)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Time
A candid, personal portrait of [Arthur Conan Doyle] . . . The most comprehensive single volume out there.\
Library Journal

The enduring popularity of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) can largely be attributed to his stories of Sherlock Holmes-one of the most widely recognized characters in English literature. Edited by Lellenberg, U.S. agent for the Conan Doyle estate; Charles Foley, the Victorian writer's great-nephew; and mystery novelist/biographer Daniel Stashower, this volume excerpts Conan Doyle's previously unpublished letters, most written to his mother. In addition to covering his literary pursuits, it chronicles the near-complete range of Doyle's life, from letters he wrote as a schoolboy to correspondence dating from the decade before his death. The letters stand as a companion to Stashower's Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle, which relates the details of Conan Doyle's medical career, his enlistment in the Boer War, his attempts to stand for Parliament, and the untimely death of his son, Kingsley. This latter event deepened Doyle's interest in spiritualism, for which he became an avid crusader. The text is illustrated with portraits and photographs as well as reproductions of manuscript pages and early editions; the editors place the letters in context with copious annotations. An invaluable addition to public and academic libraries.
—Alison M. Lewis

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594201356
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/01/2007
Pages:
720
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

The authors, Daniel Stashower, Jon Lellenberg, and Charles Foley, are premier scholars and experts on both Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. Daniel Stashower, most recently the author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl, is an award-winning mystery novelist, an Edgar Award winner and the recipient of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing. He is also the author of Teller of Tales, a widely praised biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Jon Lellenberg is the U.S agent for the Conan Doyle estate and coeditor of a number of anthologies of new Sherlock Holmes stories by mystery writers, as well as the historian of the Baker Street Irregulars. Charles Foley is the great-nephew of Arthur Conan Doyle and great-grandson of Mary Foley Doyle, as well as the present executor of the Conan Doyle Estate.

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