Arthur Conan Doyle (Author of “The sign of four”)
Arthur Conan Doyle, the son of Charles Doyle and Mary Foley, was born in Edinburgh on 22nd May 1859. Arthur’s father was an alcoholic and the family was always short of money. At school, Arthur developed a strong interest in the books written by Sir Walter Scott and Edgar Allan Poe.
Conan Doyle studied at Edinburgh University and helped to fund his course by working as a surgeon on Hope, a 400 ton whaler on a seven month voyage to the Arctic. The following year he worked on Mayumba, a passenger ship bound for West Africa. On this voyage Conan Doyle nearly died of typhoid.
On his return, Conan Doyle set up as a doctor in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth. With very few patients, Conan Doyle attempted to make money by writing detective stories. His main character, Sherlock Holmes, was based on Dr. Joseph Bell, a surgeon and criminal psychologist, who lectured at Edinburgh Infirmary.
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