Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle
Google celebrated what would have been the 147th birthday of the author with a dedicated Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle. The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle appeared on the search engine’s homepage on May 21st 2007. By modern doodle standards the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle is quite basic. The “OGL” section of the logo was replaced by a silhouette of the author’s timeless detective character Sherlock Holmes, with trademark, hat, pipe and magnifying glass who comprised the second “G” of the logo in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle. A set of mysterious footprints also appeared in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle, the “L” of the Google logo was replaced by a Victorian lamp post. The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle appeared globally.
Arthur Ignatius Conon Doyle was born on May 21st 1859. He was born in the Scottish city of Edinburgh, despite his birthplace his family was of Irish origin. The family collapsed in 1864 due to his father’s alcoholism. During the family breakdown Arthur and his siblings were housed in numerous locations across Edinburgh. After three years the family came back together, however they lived in squalor in the tenement flats of 3 Sciennes Place.
Doyle’s education was paid for by his wealthy uncles, due to this at the age of nine he was sent to the Jesuit preparatory school in Hodder Place, Stonyhurst. He finished his education here in 1870 and obtained a place at Stonyhurst College, where he studied for the next five years. Following his studies at the college he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh between 1876 and 1881.
Whilst at university, Doyle began writing, his earliest piece of fiction, “The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe” was rejected for publication by Blackwood’s Magazine. Unperturbed, Doyle continued writing and his first piece, “the Mystery of Sasassa Valley”, was published on September 6th 1879, in Chamber’s Edinburgh Journal. His first piece of non-fiction, “Gelsemium as a poison”, was published in the same month, on the 20th, in the British Medical Journal.
After his medical studies at university, Doyle became employed as a doctor abroad the Greenland whaler “Hope of Peterhead” in 1880. Following his graduation, in 1881, he became employed as a surgeon on the SS Mayumba as it embarked on a voyage along the West African coastline. He then went on to complete a doctorate on the subject of tabes dorsalis, which he completed in 1885.
In 1882 Doyle began working with a former classmate, George Turnavine Bud, at a medical practice in Plymouth. However the relationship became so difficult that Doyle left the practice to set up his own practice. He went to Portsmouth in June of that year with less than £10 (£900 in modern currency) to his name. Following his arrival he quickly established a medical practice at 1 Bush Villas situated on Elm Grove in Southsea. To begin the practice was not particularly successful, however Doyle spent the time writing short stories and novels. During this period he completed the novel’s “The Mystery of Cloomber”, which was only published in 1888, and the unfinished “Narrative of John Smith”, which went unpublished until 2011.
A number of the short stories he wrote during this period were inspired by the time he had spent at sea. These stories include “The Captain of the Pole Star” and “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement”. Despite his enthusiasm for writing, Doyle struggled to find a publisher for his work. This struggle came to an end on 20th November 1886, when his first significant piece “A Study in Scarlet” was published. It was accepted by Ward Lock & Co., who gave Doyle a total of £25 for the rights of the story.
Later that year, A Study in Scarlet appeared in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual and received good reviews from both The Scotsman and the Glasgow Herald. The story was the first appearance of the now legendary heroes John Watson and Sherlock Holmes.
Doyle claimed that the character of Sherlock Holmes was based on his former lecturer at university, Joseph Bell. In a letter to Bell, Doyle wrote, “it is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes… Round the centre of deduction and inference and observation which I heard you inculcate I have tried to build up a man.” The resemblance was such that fellow author Robert Louis Stevenson wrote to Doyle, “My compliments on your very ingenious and very interesting adventures of Sherlock Holmes… Can this be my old friend Joe Bell?”
A Study in Scarlet’s success meant that a sequel was commissioned, “A Study in Four”, which appeared in Lippincott’s Magazine during February 1920. A further two full length Sherlock Holmes novels were created, both of which were serialised and appeared in The Strand. The first of these, “The Hound and the Baskervilles”, appeared between 1901 and 1902. The second, “The Valley of Fear”, appeared between 1914 and 1915.
In addition to the Sherlock Holmes novels, a number of short story collections were released. There were six in total, which contained the complete 66 short stories created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Sherlock Holmes was not the only character Doyle created, he also invented the character of Professor Challenger. Holmes was laid back and analytical, whereas Challenger was aggressive and dominating. Challenger appeared in three of Doyle’s novels, these are “The Lost World”, published 1912, “The Poison Belt” published 1913 and “The Land of the Mist” published 1926. Professor Challenger also featured in two short stories, “When the World Screamed”, published in 1928 and “The Disintegration Machine”, published 1929.
Doyle was found dead in his home in Crowborough on July 7th 1930, having died as the result of a heart attack at the age of 71. His last recorded words were to his wife saying “you are wonderful.” A number of statues have been erected in Great Britain paying tribute to his literary legacy, one in Edinburgh in Picardy Place, close to where he was born. Another has been erected in Crowborough where he lived for over twenty years.
The Google doodle team have created a number of doodles celebrating the lives and achievements of various authors throughout the years similar to the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Google Doodle. The scroll of honour includes, John Steinbeck, Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Franz Kafka.