The Adventure of the Immortal Detective: Discovering Sherlock Holmes in the Archives

It’s unknown why Doyle filled out this autobiographical questionnaire in 1893, but the answers give a sense of his humorous side.  Arthur Conan Doyle papers.

Sherlock Holmes’s inauspicious first appearance was in the 1887 Beeton’s Christmas Annual.  The 27-year-old Doyle wrote the novel in three weeks and received only £25 for the full rights.  Ellery Queen book collection.

“A Scandal in Bohemia,” Holmes’s first appearance in short story form, also represents one of the rare instances in which the detective is outwitted.  Arthur Conan Doyle papers.

This manuscript page from “The Hound of the Baskervilles” shows Holmes and Watson in conversation after the doctor discovers his friend has been hiding out on Dartmoor.  Arthur Conan Doyle papers.

In this letter to Bram Stoker, Doyle expresses his admiration for the recently published “Dracula.”  Arthur Conan Doyle papers.

This illustration for “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder” is one of 356 drawings Sidney Paget created for the original publication of the Sherlock Holmes tales in “The Strand Magazine.”  Arthur Conan Doyle art collection.

Writer and editor Christopher Morley founded the Baker Street Irregulars, a fan society which also counted Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman as honorary members.  Christopher Morley papers.

A. A. Milne, best remembered for creating Winnie-the-Pooh, celebrates Holmes and Watson in his nine-page essay “A Room on Baker Street.”  A. A. Milne papers.

After the death of his wife in 1906 and his son in 1918, Doyle developed a strong interest in spiritualism, and became a noted writer and speaker on the subject.  Arthur Conan Doyle vertical file.

Doyle amassed a large collection of spirit photography.  This image features Harry Houdini, whose friendship with Doyle soured when the magician denied he had the supernatural powers Doyle attributed to him.  Arthur Conan Doyle photography collection.

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