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Lucy Worsley “Conan Doyle odiava Sherlock Holmes”

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Lucy Worsley “Conan Doyle odiava Sherlock Holmes”

The Scottish writer Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) secretly hated his legendary Sherlock Holmes and blamed the character of the famous private detective for denying him recognition as an author of high-level historical fiction. This is claimed by British historian Lucy Worsley, curator at the Historic Royal Palaces, the body that takes care of the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and other historic places in the English capital, in an article published by the newspaper “The Guardian”. Conan Doyle was catapulted “from obscurity to world fame” after crime stories of him began appearing in a magazine in 1891. However, according to Worsley, “under the surface he was a discontented man.” Conan Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his Sherlock Holmes stories after initially turning to the literary magazine “Cornhill”.

«Only after this magazine, and two others, rejected the character of Holmes was he finally accepted by a fourth, much poorer publisher. They said the work was exactly what they were looking for: ‘cheap fiction,'” says Worsley. Sherlock Holmes was very profitable for Conan Doyle, but the writer decided to kill him once he had earned enough money, sending him tumbling down a waterfall. Switzerland in 1893. “A decade later, however, Arthur was enticed to resurrect him when an American publisher offered him the equivalent of 1.6 million dollars”, specifies Worsley. “Arthur Conan Doyle must have hated himself. And he would have hated the fact that today, 93 years after his death, his historical novels lie unreadable, while his cheesy – but beloved – detective story lives forever on our screens.”

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Sherlock Holmes is the most popular detective in history. Conan Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories about the genius’ hunt for criminals who uses his skills of observation and deduction to solve mysterious cases. Most of the stories are narrated by Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson, who shared his lodgings at 221B Baker Street in London. The Sherlock Holmes stories have been adapted for stage, film and television: Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Cushing, Roger Moore, Ian McKellen, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston and Jonathan Pryce were among those who played the detective in the hat of fallow deer. Basil Rathbone played Holmes in 14 films. Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh and trained as a doctor before turning to writing. He was an unsuccessful candidate for parliament twice and became passionate about spiritualism after his son’s death. The writer died of a heart attack in 1930, at the age of 71.

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