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English - Enterprising People

Enterprising People 10 - Arthur Conan Doyle

Enterprising: (adjective).  Showing initiative and willingness to undertake new projects.


Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930) was the author who created the detective Sherlock Holmes. A doctor, he practised in Edinburgh, aboard ship and in the Boer War.

The stories are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction. From 1876 to 1881, he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, including a period working in the town of Aston (now a district of Birmingham) and in Sheffield. While studying, he also began writing short stories; his first published story appeared in Chamber’s Edinburgh Journal before he was 20. Following his term at university, he served as a ship's doctor on a voyage to the West African coast.

In June 1882, he arrived in Portsmouth with less than £10 to his name, so he set up a medical practice at 1 Bush Villas in Elm Grove, Southsea. The practice was initially not very successful. While waiting for patients, he again began writing stories.

Sherlock Holmes was partially modelled after his former university professor Joseph Bell, to whom Conan Doyle wrote "It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes. ... Round the centre of deduction and inference and observation which I have heard you inculcate I have tried to build up a man.”

Mr S. Sutton

Try Our "Brain Challenge"


Five Questions!

          1. Name three places in which Conan Doyle helped patients
          2. According to the passage, what seemed to be important about the Sherlock Holmes              stories?
          3. What other kinds of writing did the author produce?
          4. What was the main reason that Conan Doyle started to write stories?
          5. Who gave Conan Doyle the idea for the character of Sherlock Holmes?

Five Words !

Write the following words in your jotter. Look at the words in in a dictionary, or ask an adult to help with their meanings. Write the meaning for each word in your jotter, beside the word.

Innovation               prolific             deduction            inference             inculcate


Research/Personal Investigation

Try to make a list of the titles of at least five Sherlock Holmes stories.


Mr S. Sutton

e-mail : english@kilmarnockacademy.co.uk                                                 tel: 01563 525509

  N. McIlvanney 2011