Adrian Conan Doyle

Adrian Malcolm Conan Doyle (November 19, 1910 - June 3, 1970) was the youngest son of Arthur Conan Doyle. Adrian Doyle was described as a race-car driver, big-game hunter, explorer, and writer. Lycett [ "The Man who created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle" by Andrew Lycett, page 464 (2007, Weidenfield & Nicolson, London & Viking, New York) ISBN 0-7432-7523-3 ] calls him a "spendthrift playboy" who (with his brother Denis) "used the Conan Doyle estate as a milch-cow".

He was born in Crowborough, England and died in Geneva, Switzerland. He married Anna Andersen from Denmark. He was his father's literary executor after his mother died in 1940, and founded the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Foundation in Switzerland in 1965. On his death, his sister Dame Jean Conan Doyle took over as their father's literary executor.

Additional Sherlock Holmes stories

Either alone or with the assistance of John Dickson Carr, Adrian Doyle produced additional Sherlock Holmes stories. The basis of his production was to complete the tales referenced in his father's stories, but which his father had never written. These Sherlock Holmes tales were written in 1952 and 1953, but have been republished subsequently. In 1954 a hard cover collection of the stories was published, "The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes". Other authors have also written Sherlock Holmes stories based on the same references within the original tales.

Discovery of unpublished Holmes story

On September 12, 1942, the Associated Press announced that an authentic, unpublished Sherlock Holmes story had been found by Adrian Conan Doyle. Written in his father's uniquely neat handwriting, the story was buried in a chest that contained family documents. Adrian Conan Doyle refused to publish it. A month later, the Baker Street Irregulars wrote a letter to the Saturday Review of Literature, insisting that the story be published. In the United States, "Cosmopolitan" magazine obtained it and published it in their August 1948 issue under the uncharacteristic title "The Case of the Man who was Wanted". It was also published in London's "Sunday Dispatch" magazine the following January. Sherlockian Vincent Starrett doubted that the story was written by the elder Doyle and suggested that Adrian was the author. In September 1945, a letter was received by Hesketh Pearson, a biographer of Arthur Conan Doyle. The letter stated, "My pride is not unduly hurt by your remark that 'The Man who was Wanted' is certainly not up to scratch for the sting is much mitigated by your going on to remark that it carries the authentic trade–mark! This, I feel, is a great compliment to my one and only effort at plagiarism." The letter was written by an architect named Arthur Whitaker. He had sent the story to Arthur Conan Doyle in 1911 with a suggestion that they publish it as a joint collaboration. Doyle refused, but sent Whitaker a check for £10 in payment for the story. Whitaker retained a carbon copy. After seeing it attributed in the "Sunday Dispatch" to Arthur Conan Doyle, Whitaker wrote a letter to Denis Conan Doyle explaining the true authorship. Denis forwarded the letter to his brother Adrian, who became angry, demanded proof, and threatened legal action. In 1949, the Doyles admitted, after seeing the carbon copy and listening to people who had read it in 1911, that Whitaker was the author. The story, which was thought by many people to be the work of Arthur Conan Doyle, has been published recently in the collection "The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". [Published as "The Adventure of the Sheffield Banker" in "The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes".]

Works about his father

Sir Arthur's widow Jean chose a spiritualist the Rev. John Lamond to write an authorised life of him, "Arthur Conan Doyle: A Memoir" (John Murray, 1931). The memoir emphasized his paranormal interests but was not what readers wanted, so after their mother's death Adrian and Denis grudgingly allowed Hesketh Pearson to write "Conan Doyle: His Life and Art" (Methuen, 1943). But Pearson's book offended Adrian and Denis by saying that the secret of Arthur Conan Doyle's success was that he was the "common man". Adrian threatened criminal proceedings against Pearson's "fakeography", and wrote an article in protest, and later a book "The True Conan Doyle" (John Murray, 1945).

Later "When the BBC commissioned an anniversary talk from Hesketh Pearson, Adrian announced that if it went ahead it would never broadcast another Sherlock Holmes story. The Corporation cravenly caved in." [ "The Man who created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle" by Andrew Lycett, page 464-466 (2007, Weidenfield & Nicolson, London & Viking, New York) ISBN 0-7432-7523-3 ] Lycett also says that Pearson had met Arthur at his relation Francis Galton's place before the First World War. Pearson had idolised him from an early age, but was disappointed to find a thick-set broad-faced man with no more mystery than a pumpkin, who fulminated against Sherlock Holmes for preventing him from writing the historical novels he wanted.

Notes

Bibliography

*"The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", Penguin Books, 1985, ISBN 0-14-007907-6 (originally published 1954 by J Murray, London)
*"The True Conan Doyle", (1945, London, John Murray) (about his father, with a preface by Sir Hubert Gough)

herlock Holmes stories

*by Adrian Doyle and John Dickson Carr
**"The Adventure of the Seven Clocks" (from: "A Scandal in Bohemia")
**"The Adventure of the Gold Hunter" ( from: "The Five Orange Pips")
**"The Adventure of the Wax Gamblers" (from: "A Scandal in Bohemia")
**"The Adventure of the Highgate Miracle" (from: "The Problem of Thor Bridge")
**"The Adventure of the Black Baronet" (from: "The Hound of the Baskervilles")
**"The Adventure of the Sealed Room" (from: "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb")
*by Adrian Doyle
**"The Adventure of the Foulkes Rath" (from: "The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez")
**"The Adventure of the Abbas Ruby" (from: "The Hound of the Baskervilles")
**"The Adventure of the Dark Angels" (from: "The Adventure of the Priory School")
**"The Adventure of the Two Women" (from: "The Hound of the Baskervilles")
**"The Adventure of the Deptford Horror" (from: "The Adventure of Black Peter")
**"The Adventure of the Red Widow" (from "A Scandal in Bohemia")

Non-Holmes works

*"Heaven has Claws" (1952, London, John Murray)
*"Lone Dhow" (1963, London, Murray)
*"The Lover of the Coral Glades"


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