Arthur & Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes
As a young medical student at the University of Edinburgh, Arthur Conan Doyle studied under the vigilant eye of Dr Joseph Bell. He observed as Dr Bell identified a patient's occupation, hometown and ailments both imagined and genuine from the smallest details of dress, gait and speech. Although Doyle was training to be a surgeon, he was meanwhile cultivating essential knowledge that would help him to develop and define the art of the detective novel. From Doyle's early days surrounded by poverty and violence, to his escape to University and finally to his first days as a surgeon in his own practice, acclaimed author Michael Sims traces the circuitous yet inevitable development of Arthur Conan Doyle as the father of the modern mystery, whose most famous creation is still the most well-known and well-loved of the canon's many members. Through Sims's deft analysis of Doyle's childhood and adult life, the incomparable Sherlock Holmes emerges as a product of Doyle's varied lessons in the classroom and professional life. Building on the traditions of Edgar Allan Poe, Emile Gaboriau, and even Voltaire, Doyle's new detective is not just a skilful translator of clues, but a veritable superhero of the mind in the tradition of his most esteemed teacher, Dr Joseph Bell. Sims's Arthur is just as vivid Doyle's own Sherlock Holmes in this enthralling biography of the man behind the most famous detective of all time.
From the acclaimed author of The Adventures of Henry Thoreau and The Story of Charlotte's Web comes the new story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the mind behind Sherlock Holmes and the creator of the modern detective novel
The gentle, loving book White deserves ... There is so much to celebrate in Sims's book. His own descriptions of nature are evocative and subtle, and he probes at White's psyche without raking him over the coals ... White fans will savour this, as will anyone wondering how an author is made, and how a book comes to life Scotsman on THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB Beguiling ... a telescopic, rather than encompassing biography ... Sims is excellent on the creative process of spinning Charlotte's Web, his language is clear and humorous Irish Times on THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB A rich, entertaining testament to the triumph of a young man who never comfortably fit in, but who made a place for himself, nonetheless -- Maureen Corrigan Fresh Air on THE ADVENTURES OF HENRY THOREAU [A] surpassingly vivid and vital chronicle of Thoreau's formative years. As Sims portrays a solemn boy nicknamed 'the Judge', we gain fresh understanding of Thoreau's choices and convictions on his way to becoming a seminal environmentalist and civil-disobedience guru Booklist on THE ADVENTURES OF HENRY THOREAU Sims offers intriguing sidelights and memorable details ... [he] helps us to see Thoreau as a colorful, crotchety human being Washington Post on THE ADVENTURES OF HENRY THOREAU Sims gracefully captures what he calls Thoreau's 'ecstatic response to nature' Wall Street Journal on THE ADVENTURES OF HENRY THOREAU Splendid ... A fine stylist, Sims portrays these scenes with a beauty and an economy of language that would make the co-author of The Elements of Style proud ... Not only an engaging account of White's rise to literary prominence, through the New Yorker, but also his shyness, his awkwardness in love, his devotion to his wife, Katharine, and something else, something hard to identify but ever-present in the book, like the chirping of birds high in the trees at evening Wall Street Journel on THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB Sims's research is thorough, his own prose clear, direct and concise: the ultimate homage. His book is a lovely and empathetic testament to E.B. White Washington Post on THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB Intriguing ... Sims illuminates an era of journalism and essay-writing through the war. His style also sings in tune with White's lyricism, especially in descriptions of nature and the farm Sunday Times on THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB Entertaining ... This is the biography its subject seems to have deserved. Gentle, occasionally whimsical and always respectful, it is a glimpse into the life of a man whose status as one of the children's classic authors is assured Sunday Express on THE STORY OF CHARLOTTE'S WEB
Michael Sims's six acclaimed non-fiction books include The Adventures of Henry Thoreau, The Story of Charlotte's Web, and Adam's Navel, and he edits the Connoisseur's Collection anthology series, which includes Dracula's Guest, The Dead Witness, The Phantom Coach, and the forthcoming Frankenstein Dreams. His writing has appeared in New Statesman, New York Times, Washington Post, and many other periodicals. He appears often on NPR, BBC, and other networks. He lives in Pennsylvania. michaelsimsbooks.com