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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

Monday, 11 November 2013

"Conan Doyle" by Hesketh Pearson

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.

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