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Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Doyles were a prosperous Irish-Catholic family, who had a prominent position in the world of Art. Charles Altamont Doyle, Arthur's father, a chronic alcoholic, was the only member of his family, who apart from fathering a brilliant son, never accomplished anything of note. At the age of twenty-two, Charles had married Mary Foley, a vivacious and very well educated young woman of seventeen. Sir Arthur is the creator Sherlock Holmes, the best-known detective in literature and the embodiment of scientific thinking. Doyle himself was not a good example of rational personality: he believed in fairies and was interested in occultism. Sherlock Holmes stories have been translated into more than fifty languages, and made into plays, films, radio and television series, a musical comedy, a ballet, cartoons, comic books, and advertisement. By 1920 Doyle was one of the most highly paid writers in the world. Doyle was educated in Jesuit schools. He studied at Edinburgh University and in 1884 he married Louise Hawkins. Doyle qualified as doctor in 1885. After graduation Doyle practiced medicine as an eye specialist at Southsea near Porsmouth in Hampshire until 1891 when he became a full time writer. First story about Holmes, A study in scarlet, was published in 1887 in Beeton Christmas Annual.. The novel was written in three weeks in 1886. It introduced the detective and his associate and friend, Dr. Watson, and made famous Holmess address at Mrs. Hudsons house, 221B Baker Street, London. Their major opponent was the malevolent Moriarty, the classic evil genius who was a kind of doppelgnger of Holmes. Also the beautiful opera singer Irene Adler caused much trouble to Holmes. The second Sherlock Holmes story, THE SIGN OF FOUR, was written for the Lippincotts Magazine in 1890. The story collects a colorful group of people together, among them Jonathan Small who has a wooden leg and a dwarf from Tonga islands. In the Strand Magazine started to appear The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In 1893 Doyle was so wearied of his famous detective that he devised his death in the Final Problem (published in the Strand). In the story Holmes meets Moriarty at the fall of the Reichenbach in Switzerland and disappears. Watson finds a letter from Homes, stating I have already explained to you, however, that my career had in any case reached its crisis, and that no possible conclusion to it could be more congenial to me than this. In THE HOUND OF BASKERVILLES (1902) Doyle narrated an early case of the dead detective. The murder weapon in the story is an animal.

Sherlock Holmes short stories were collected in five books. They first appeared in 1892 under the title THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. The later were THE MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1894), THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1904), HIS LAST BOW(1917), and THE CASEBOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1927). During the South African war (1899-1902) Doyle served for a few months as senior physician at a field hospital, and wrote THE WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA, in which he took the imperialistic view. In 1900 and 1906 he ran unsuccessfully for Parliament. Doyle was knighted in 1902. Fourteen months after his wife died, Conan Doyle married in 1907 his second wife, Jean Leckie. He dedicated himself in spiritualistic studies after the death of his son Kingsley from wounds incurred in World War I. An example of these is THE COMING OF FAIRIES, in which he supported the existence of little people and spent more than a million dollars on their cause. He also became president of several important spiritualist organizations. Conan Doyles other publications include plays, verse, memoirs, short stories, and several historical novels and supernatural and speculative fiction. His stories of Professor George Edward Challenger in THE LOST WORLD and other adventures blended science fact with fantastic romance, and were very popular. The model for the professor was William Rutherford, Doyles teacher from Edinburgh. Doyles practice, and other experiences, seven months in the Arctic as ships doctor on a whaler, and three on a steamer bound to the West Coast of Africa, provided material for his writings.


His own story is one of rags to riches. He was born in Portsmouth on 7 February 1812, to John and Elizabeth Dickens. The good fortune of being sent to school at the age of nine was short-lived because his father, inspiration for the character of Mr Micawber in 'David Copperfield', was imprisoned for bad debt. The entire family, apart from Charles, were sent to Marshalsea along with their patriarch. Charles was sent to work in Warren's blacking factory and endured appalling conditions as well as loneliness and despair. After three years he was returned to school, but the experience was never forgotten and became fictionalised in two of his better-known novels 'David Copperfield' and 'Great Expectations'. Like many others, he began his literary career as a journalist. His own father became a reporter and Charles began with the journals 'The Mirror of Parliament' and 'The True Sun'. Then in 1833 he became parliamentary journalist for The Morning Chronicle. With new contacts in the press he was able to publish a series of sketches under the pseudonym 'Boz'. In April 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, daughter of George Hogarth who edited 'Sketches by Boz'. Within the same month came the publication of the highly successful 'Pickwick Papers', and from that point on there was no looking back for Dickens. As well as a huge list of novels he published autobiography, edited weekly periodicals including 'Household Words' and 'All Year Round', wrote travel books and administered charitable organisations. He was also a theatre enthusiast, wrote plays and performed before Queen Victoria in 1851. His energy was inexhaustible and he spent much time abroad - for example lecturing against slavery in the United States and touring Italy with companions Augustus Egg and Wilkie Collins, a contemporary writer who inspired Dickens' final unfinished novel 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'.

He was estranged from his wife in 1858 after the birth of their ten children, but maintained relations with his mistress, the actress Ellen Ternan. He died of a stroke in 1870. He is buried at Westminster Abbey.


Oliver Twist David Copperfield Pickwick Papers Great Expectations Household All Year Rouns


Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children (from oldest to youngest): Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. Soon after Patrick had been appointed to a parish in Haworth, Yorkshire, his wife died, leaving the parson and the young children behind (the oldest, Maria, only seven years old). Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Emily began attending Cowan Bridge School three years after their mother's death. Tragically, Maria and Elizabeth both died of tuberculosis, which had infected the school. Patrick hastened to bring Charlotte and Emily home after learning of the deaths of his two older daughters. In February of 1842, Charlotte and Emily went to Brussels. They stayed at the Pensionnat Heger, where they became pupils. Madame Heger was the head of the school. The two sisters learned French, German, music, singing, writing, arithmetic, and drawing. At home, Aunt Branwell had become very ill. Charlotte and Emily came home, only to find her dead and buried. Afterwards, Emily stayed at the Parsonage, but Charlotte went back to Brussels. She became a teacher at the Pensionnat, but she was very dissatisfied with her students. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne had begun publishing their poetry and novels. Charlotte had written Jane Eyre (1846), Shirley (1849), and Villette (1853). It was not until after her death that The Professor was published in 1857. Charlotte had begun several novels, but she never finished them. Emily's novel Wuthering Heights was published in 1847. Anne's accomplishments included Agnes Grey (1847) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848). All of the Bronte sisters had contributed poems to a collection of poetry, entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell (1846). Currer, Ellis and Acton were the aliases assumed by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte. The sisters lived in such times that women were not always given a fair chance in the business world. Therefore, they assumed masculine names, so that their books would have a better chance of being published. Disaster struck in October of 1848, when Emily fell sick with tuberculosis. In December of 1848, Emily's coffin was laid in the same vault as that of her mother and brother. Anne soon followed her sister to the grave, after she was consumed by the same relentless disease that had deprived her mother, brother, and three sisters of their lives.

The only remaining members of the Bronte family were Patrick and Charlotte. Charlotte was very deeply grieved at the loss of her companions. Writing restored her energy. In Shirley, she explained her feelings. During this time, her father's curate, the Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls, had been spending a great deal of time with Patrick and Charlotte. It was not long before he proposed, and Charlotte accepted. They were married on the morning of Thursday, June 29, 1854. One year after the marriage, Charlotte died. The cause of her death was tuberculosis, and it is thought that complications in early pregnancy hastened the process. Patrick Bronte ended up outliving his wife and six children. His only companion was Charlotte's husband, who looked after Charlotte's father, in compliance with Charlotte's last wishes. Patrick, at age 84, was the last of his family to die.