Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Biography | 1215 |
Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Doyles were a prosperousIrish-Catholic family, who had a prominent position in the world of Art. Charles Altamont Doyle, Arthur's father, a chronic alcoholic, was the only member of his family, who apart from fathering a brilliantson, never accomplished anything of note. At the age of twenty-two, Charles had married Mary Foley, a vivacious and very well educated young woman of seventeen.
Mary Doyle had a passion for books andwas a master storyteller. Her son Arthur wrote of his mother's gift of "sinking her voice to a horror-stricken whisper" when she reached the culminating point of a story. There was little money inthe family and even less harmony on account of his father's excesses and erratic behavior. Arthur's touching description of his mother's beneficial influence is also poignantly described in hisbiography, "In my early childhood, as far as I can remember anything at all, the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life."
After Arthur reached hisninth birthday, the wealthy members of the Doyle family offered to pay for his studies. He was in tears all the way to England, where for seven years he had to go to a Jesuit boarding school. Arthurloathed 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 grueling years, Arthur'sonly 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, at which he was very good. It wasduring these difficult years at boarding school, that Arthur realized he also had a talent for storytelling. He was often found, surrounded by a bevy of totally enraptured younger students, listening...