According to a historian, Arthur Conan Doyle harbored hidden resentment towards his character, Sherlock Holmes.
According to historian Lucy Worsley, Arthur Conan Doyle harbored a secret dislike for his own character Sherlock Holmes and believed that the popularity of the detective overshadowed his other works of sophisticated historical fiction.
According to Worsley’s article in the Radio Times, Doyle rose to fame globally after his crime tales were published in a magazine in 1891. He was later knighted in 1902, just eleven years after.
According to Worsley, despite his outward appearance, he was dissatisfied.
Conan Doyle had a difficult time getting his Sherlock stories published, even after approaching the prestigious Cornhill magazine. It wasn’t until three other publishers rejected the stories that a fourth, less reputable publisher finally accepted them. They considered the work to be exactly what they wanted, labeling it as “cheap fiction.”
Conan Doyle found success through his character Holmes, however he made the choice to bring an end to his life after he had accumulated sufficient earnings, by having him fall over a Swiss waterfall in 1893.
According to Worsley, ten years later, Arthur was enticed to bring him back to life when an American publisher proposed a sum of $1.6 million.
“Arthur most likely harbored self-loathing. It’s also likely that he would have despised the fact that even after 93 years since his passing, his literary works go unnoticed, while his ‘inferior’ yet treasured detective character continues to thrive on television.”
Sherlock Holmes is the most popular fictional detective in history. Conan Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories about the mastermind’s pursuit of criminals using his observational skills and powers of deduction.
The majority of the tales are told by Holmes’s companion, Dr. Watson, who resided with him at 221B Baker Street.
The tales of Sherlock Holmes have been transformed for the stage, movies, and TV, featuring actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Cushing, Roger Moore, Ian McKellen, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston, and Jonathan Pryce portraying the iconic detective in his signature deerstalker hat. Basil Rathbone notably starred as Holmes in 14 films.
Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh and trained as a doctor before taking up writing. He was twice an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate, and became fascinated by spiritualism after the death of his son. The writer died of a heart attack in 1930, at the age of 71.