Arthur Conan Doyle must be the most popular under-appreciated author of recent times. During many of the discussions about Undershaw and why the home of such a famous writer should not be accorded the same level of reverence as that shown for the houses of Dickens and Austen it was suggested that Conan Doyle was simply not in the same class.
|A great man and author|
This of course begs the question – by what criteria are you determining class? If it’s longevity then the case for Conan Doyle being up there with Dickens and Austen is very strong. If it is frequency of screen adaptation then Conan Doyle is, I think, streets ahead. So exactly by what criteria is he deemed inferior?
Is it because his most famous work was in short-story form rather than novels? Or is it really down to a combination of snobbery and mockery? Is Conan Doyle ranked low by the self-appointed guardians of literary history because he is most famous for his work in the crime genre? These fools need to look at his other output. You should be measured on what you have produced not just what you are known for. You should also be measured by the impact that your work has on people. A person’s body of work is great if it moves people en masse not just if it moves the self-appointed arbiters of literary taste.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s non-fiction work on the Boer and First World Wars may be largely forgotten, his work on spiritualism and fairies may be mocked but they still exist and are still read (even if only by a few). Beyond doubt is the fact that his creation of the characters of Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Professor Challenger - and their adventures - has moved and entertained people from day one. Other authors and film makers owe, whether they appreciate it or not, a debt to Conan Doyle for laying the ground rules for so much of modern crime writing and drama. Yes, people will say, Poe invented the genre but Conan Doyle, in my opinion, really made people properly take notice of it and a lot of what you can see in modern crime has parallels to Conan Doyle’s work.
|Entirely relevant to today|
|Continually popular - even adored|
|ACD inspires people to guard his memory...|
|...even in court|
|His characters are popular "in person" as well as on screen|
If anything, Dickens and Austen are in Conan Doyle's shadow today rather than the other way round. Maybe that is what literary snobs just cannot stand.
Not in the same class - my foot!!
For more information on Arthur Conan Doyle and his time at Undershaw please refer to my book, An Entirely New Country which is available through all good bookstores including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Classic Specialities, and in all electronic formats including iTunes, Kobo, Nook and Kindle .
The Norwood Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK, Amazon UK, Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books, Nook.
Close to Holmes is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.
Eliminate the Impossible is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Amazon USA, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Waterstones UK, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks for the iPad/iPhone.