Impact of Arthur Conan Doyle on American Culture during the Boer War

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“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” (Doyle). During the late 19th century, the Second Boer War was a major conflict in Britain. According to the official biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, Doyle published many works which were inspired by the war including The Great Boer War (2019). The growing popularity of medical studies allowed Doyle to enroll in the University of Edinburgh. Doyle’s highly inspirational and famous works have been transformed into movies and shows which were highly anticipated by many people in Britain as well as America, following his death. the show Sherlock Holmes is still airing today with new seasons coming out every year. The movies and shows which feature Sherlock Holmes substantiate the fact that Doyle’s works continue to affect people to this day. Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the most influential writers of the 19th century, and his works continue to have an impact on American culture today.

Arthur Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was raised by a wealthy Irish Catholic family. His dad was a successful artist, but was considered a chronic alcoholic while his mom was a well-educated woman who had a passion for books and storytelling. According to Arthur Conan Doyle’s official online biography, when Arthur Conan Doyle reached his ninth birthday, the wealthy members of the Doyle Family paid for his studies. Arthur loathed the bigotry surrounding his studies and rebelled at corporal punishment, which was prevalent and incredibly brutal in most English schools of that epoch. During those gruelling years, Arthur's only moments of happiness were when he wrote to his mother, a regular habit that lasted for the rest of her life, and also when he practiced sports, mainly cricket (2019). Although he initially decided to pursue medical school, a couple years later he decided to write short stories. After college, Conan Doyle married Louise Hawkins, who was the sister of a former patient. Years later, he fell deeply in love with Jean Leckie. According to the official biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, Conan Doyle and Jean Leckie got married very publicly in front of 250 guests, on September 18, 1907 (2019). When the Boer War started, Conan Doyle volunteered to join the war. During the Boer War, he served in an army hospital, and he earned his knighthood after writing a defence of the British conduct in that conflict. During the war, he experienced the conflicts of war and the deaths which result from it. Following the war, he wrote The Great Boer War containing scrupulous commentary concerning the conflict. Conan Doyle decided to go back to England to pursue politics; his time with politics was short-lived due to him losing in the election. After politics, he consorted back to writing. According to his official online biography, for two decades following the war, he wrote many of his most famous works. Following his last Psychic tour, Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1930 (2019).

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Over the course of his career, Doyle wrote many well-known stories in his lifetime, which have impacted people all over the world. ”[Arthur Conan Doyle’s works] are almost textbook examples of honor and of logical deduction, appealing to what we all want to believe: decency and reason will prevail” (Hipple 1997). Many of his works have inspired many people throughout the whole world. Many television shows and movies have been based on his writings. “In ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ Robert Downey Jr. plays the famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle detective as a kind of kung fu Ratso Rizzo (Rainer 2009).” Later in his life, Arthur Conan Doyle drifted away from fictional writing and started to write about spiritualism. According to the official biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, writing incessantly, looking after Louisa, no longer a wife, but a patient, and then losing his father, deeply troubled Conan Doyle. It may well have been his resulting depression, which caused him to become more and more fascinated by 'life beyond the veil'. He had long been attracted to Spiritualism. After 1918, because of his deepening involvement in the occult, Conan Doyle wrote very little fiction, writing arduously about spiritualism (2019). Doyle is known for writing mystery novels, which has influenced many writers and has been converted into a television show as well as a movie.

One of Doyle’s most famous works is The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. According to the official biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who impressed and influenced him the most without a doubt was one of his teachers, Dr. Joseph Bell. The good doctor was a master at observation, logic, deduction, and diagnosis. All of these qualities were later to be found in the persona of the celebrated detective Sherlock Holmes (2019). The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes was composed of his last Sherlock Holmes stories. It had 12 different stories which involved the famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and it was published in June, 1927. Furthermore, Conan Doyle’s detective, Sherlock Holmes, was continued throughout much of his mysteries. According to the official biography for Arthur Conan Doyle, his last twelve stories about the exploits of the immortal detective were compiled in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes”(2019). This famous collection of stories continues to impact people today. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes was transformed into a TV series which aired in 2017. Following the Sherlock Holmes series, Arthur Conan Doyle created The Great Boer War, which was very influential and famous as well.

Another famous work by Doyle is The Great Boer War. According to an online biography of Arthur Conan Doyle, he volunteered as a medical doctor and sailed to Africa in February of 1900. During the war, Doyle had to wage a fierce battle against microbes. During the few months he spent in Africa, he saw more soldiers and medical staff die of typhoid fever, than of war wounds. The Great Boer War was published in October of 1900 and was a masterpiece of military scholarship. It was not only a report of the war, but also an astute and well-informed commentary about some of the organizational shortcomings of the British forces at the time (2019). King Edward VII was intrigued by Conan Doyle’s ability to write stories, and was granted knighthood during the Boer War. Doyle’s famous works have had a large impact throughout American Culture.

Doyle’s books and literary creations impacted the American society during his lifetime, as well as to this day. Conan Doyle made a lasting impact on society with his ability to write and portray inspirational characters as well as speak with others and imbue confidence to his audience. “After the war, he made trips to Australia, the United States, Canada, and South Africa, speaking to thousands. ‘He was probably the greatest propagandist the spiritualistic movement ever had and a truly charismatic figure,’ wrote Geoffrey K. Nelson in Spiritualism and Society” (Huntington 1997). Doyle’s works throughout his lifetime created a lasting impact on the American society and influenced many works to this day.

Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the most influential writers of his time and his works had influenced and impacted many people to this day. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote nearly 200 novels, books, and pamphlets during his lifetime. He is known for his creation of the character Sherlock Holmes and the 60 stories he wrote about him. However, Conan Doyle’s first submitted story, The Haunted Grape of Goresthorpe, was unsuccessful. After his first failed attempt, Conan Doyle wrote another work; he submitted it to the Edinburgh magazine called Chamber’s Journal. After his second story, The American Tale, he decided he really wanted to pursue writing. Later in his lifetime, he pursued the religious movement involving spiritualism. Arthur Conan Doyle created many works in his lifetime, which continue to impact people today. “It has long been an axiom of [Doyle] that the little things are infinitely the most important” (Doyle).

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