Synopses & Reviews
Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) is best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories and novels, yet he considered them only a small part of his literary output. He expected to be remembered for his historical fiction, especially The White Company
. He also wrote science fiction novels, short stories, and horror tales. He was knighted for a pamphlet he wrote justifying England's actions during the Boer War, in which he served as a physician in a field hospital. After one of his sons was killed during World War I, he turned to spiritualism for comfort. He became a prominent spiritualist, lecturing and writing frequently on the subject. This book--the first biography of Arthur Conan Doyle written for young adults--provides a lively account of the writer's fascinating life. Pascal considers the overlaps between the fictional Holmes and Watson and their creator, and draws a memorable picture of late Victorian society. Sidebars containing excerpts from Doyle's writings, and numerous photographs and illustrations invigorate the captivating narrative.
Oxford Portraits is a new series of biographies for young adults. Written by prominent writers and historians, each of these titles is designed to supplement the core texts of the middle and high school curriculum with intriguing, thoroughly informative and insightful accounts of the lives and work of the notable men and women who helped shape history. Each book is illustrated with numerous graphics, photographs, and documents. A unique feature is the inclusion of sidebars containing primary source material, mostly excerpts from the subject's writings. A chronology, further reading list, and index rounds out every volume.
"Pascal pulls Doyle into the light to show that he had more than one string on his bow, [p]ointing clearly to events and people in his life that later showed up in his books.... The illustrations are all contemporary photos or film stills, boxed passages from several works are long enough to impart a sense of Doyle's humor and eminently readable style.... Coherent, evenhanded presentation of the writer's multifaceted literary career... a useful addition."--Booklist
"A thorough look at Doyle's life and writings.... Pascal draws on a wealth of primary sources... and presents anecdotes, quotations, and superb black-and-white photos and reproductions that reveal fascinating details.... Pascal does a fine job of conveying the era in which her subject lived."--School Library Journal
"Evenhanded, readable biography... well-researched chapters include excerpts from Conan Doyle's letters and autobiography, lengthy passages from his stories, and quotes from magazine reviews of his work."--The Horn Book Guide
"Pascal provides valuable insights into the life of this remarkable man, who was far more than merely the creator of Sherlock Holmes.... Anyone who has read the adventures of Holmes and Dr. Watson will thoroughly enjoy 'discovering' the multifaceted man who penned them."--Fore Word
Includes bibliographical references (p. 151-154) and index.