Arthur Conan Doyle

“A Study in Scarlet” featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson was the first work of the series written by which author?
And the answer: Arthur Conan Doyle.    
Photo credit: public domain. 

After a failed venture into the field of medicine, Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired by his professor to write the story of a detective who has masterful powers of deduction. Just three weeks later, the character Sherlock Holmes appeared for the first time in “A Study in Scarlet,” a novel-length story published in 1887.

Arthur Conan Doyle was a pioneer in detective fiction and one of the most important public figures of the 19th century. Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle's famous protagonist, went on to become one of the most famous fictional characters of all time. Yet, Conan Doyle wasn't always going to be an author.

During his time at boarding school, Conan Doyle was a popular storyteller. Known for his innovative, improvised plots, young Doyle's classmates would often bribe him with sweets so that he would tell another. However, storytelling was more of a passion for the young author— Conan Doyle was pursuing studies in medicine. During his time at University of Edinburgh, though, Conan Doyle formed a close relationship to his mentor Professor Joseph Bell. The professor conducted intensive research in the fields of chemistry, toxicology, pathology, paleontology in the hopes of solving crimes. With this, Professor Bell laid the foundation for modern forensics, as well as the use of autopsy in solving crime-related deaths.

After completing his studies, Conan Doyle worked as a ship doctor in Africa and the Antarctic. Throughout this time, though, Conan Doyle began writing crime stories. Using Edgar Allen Poe's stories as models, Conan Doyle conceived the soon-to-be famous crime investigator Sherlock Holmes at just 28 years old. His novels included the latest forensic methods and a wickedly sharp protagonist with a knack for detail, which led to the near-immediate success of the Sherlock Holmes series.

Learn more about Conan Doyle here.


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