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Biography Of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

3046 words - 12 pages

Although Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is often regarded as just an author, he was much more. His works were inspired by the times and the people he met, and his literary influence remains relevant today.
On May 22, 1859 Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to Charles and Mary Doyle. He was their third child, and one of ten children all together. Charles Doyle was a political cartoonist and civil servant who earned only £300 per year, so money was very tight in the household. Partially due to his father’s alcoholism and mental instability, he and Charles weren’t ever close. However, he and his mother were. Mary was passionate about books and was a gifted storyteller. Charles reflected on this in one of his biographies saying, "In my early childhood, as far as I can remember anything at all, the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life.” (http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/ biography/index.htm)
Since money was so scarce, their prosperous extended family offered to pay for Arthur’s schooling when he turned nine (http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org /biography/index.htm). He was sent to a Jesuit boarding school in London called Hodder, and hated it from the beginning. After arriving there he began to develop an interests in Cricket and reading. He became such an avid reader that he was told by the librarian that he was only allowed to exchange books twice a day, at the most (Carr 9). After two years of attending Hodder, he went to its senior sister school Stonyhurst. Once there, he joined the Cricket team and developed a knack for storytelling, but it didn’t improve his opinions of the school. Stonyhurst strictly based its teaching on classics such as Virgil and Homer, and relied on brutal corporal punishment to correct its students. Conan Doyle was no stranger to such discipline. He was very stubborn and often broke rules and disobeyed authority to “Prove he could still look them in the eyes afterwards.” He naturally rebelled against their harshness saying, “They try to rule too much by fear - too little by love or reason” (Carr 4). Despite his disobedience his teachers still liked and respected him. The only time he felt happy there was when he wrote back and forth to his mother (http://www.sherlockholmesonline.org/biography/index.htm.)
In 1873 his uncle sent him a copy of the book Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Macaulay which Arthur grew to love. He spent three weeks in the summer of 1874 with his aunt and uncle in London. This wound up being a very influential part of his life. While there, he attended a lot of plays such as “Hamlet” that left a lasting impression on him. One of his favorite places he went to was the wax museum. He said, “I was delighted with the room of Horrors, and the images of murderers.” One day he went to Westminister Abbey for no apparent reason. He later revealed that he just went and stood at the grave of Macaulay for an extended amount of...

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