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.
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57