This biography of the man who wrote Sherlock Holmes and many other tales was first written in 1943 and therefore contains some inexcusable racism. It is also a biography of those times: Pearson wastes little time worrying about scholarly research and a lot of time writing a cracking good yarn. There are moments when it seems padded, for example when he quotes a newspaper correspondence between Doyle and George Bernard Shaw over the Titanic in its entirety (pp 141-148). There are times when it seems rushed: the entire Professor Challenger tales are skipped over in less time than the Titanic correspondence. Pearson spends a great deal of ink discussing Doyle's friend Dr Budd; Pearson claims that Challenger and Holmes were both based on this man. But I was left a little confused as to Doyle's final bibliography. I would have liked a greater discussion of each story and its genesis.
But these are faults of selection and Pearson has written an excellent narrative about a man who would be fascinating even without his place in literary history.November 2013; 188 pages.
- I live in Bedford, England. Having retired from teaching; I am now a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Threshold Concepts in the context of A-level Physics. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. I have also recently become a keen playgoer to London Fringe Theatre. I enjoy mostly classics and I read the playscripts and add those to the blog. I am a member of Bedford Writers' Circle. See their website here: http://bedford-writers.co.uk/ Follow me on twitter: @daja57