Arthur Conan Doyle was born in the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. His father, Charles E. Doyle, was an artist and architect by profession, but he worked as a clerk in an office. He died young and the Doyles were very poor. Arthur’s mother was a very good storyteller and he remembered her fantastic stories all his life. The talent of story telling was inherited by Arthur from his mother and it helped him as a writer. During his school years he read much, and he often told his school friends long and interesting stories, getting cakes and sweets for that. After leaving school Conan Doyle became a student of the medical faculty at the university of Edinburgh. In his third year of studies he went as a ship doctor to the Arctic and upon graduating from the university, he again went by ship to western Africa. He began his medical practice in a small English town Southsea, where he spent eight years. In 1887, he published his first detective story “A study in Scarlet”. Its main characters were Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and they became the most popular characters of a great many of Conan Doyle’s stories. “A scandal in Bohemia” opened a collection of detective stories under the title “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”. The story was published in 1891 and soon after that Baker Street became the well-known address of Sherlock Holmes. The readers asked for more and more stories about Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle was writing them for two years. When he had written about twenty stories with Sherlock Holmes as the main detective, he was so tired of these stories that he decided to “kill” Sherlock Holmes. He wrote a story, which he named “Holmes’s last case” (1893). In this story Holmes was killed during his struggle with Professor Moriarty. The writer hoped that after that he could begin writing other books. But the readers did not wish to lose their favourite character and ten years later the famous detective appeared again. In 1901-1902 one of Conan Doyle’s best stories “The hound of the Baskervilles” was published. In 1891 Conan Doyle gave up his medical work and devoted all his time to his literary activity. He also travelled much. He visited Europe, the USA and Egypt. In Norway he met Jerome K. Jerome, who wrote about that fact in one of his books. Beside detective stories, Conan Doyle also wrote historic novels, war books and an anticolonial book about the Belgian Congo. His two fantastic stories “The lost world” (1912) and “The Poisoned Belt” (1913) were quite successful. All his life Conan Doyle liked sport; he skied, played golf and went in for boxing. He died in 1930. After his death, the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, together with his friend Dr. Watson, continued to live on the pages of Conan Doyle’s books. They are among the favourite characters of English literature. Tourists coming to London always go to visit Baker Street to see the house where Sherlock Holmes lived.
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