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A Chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle

(This Chronology does not pretend to be complete. The initial entries are based on the Chronology which appeared in The Oxford Sherlock Holmes and are, therefore, oriented towards the Sherlock Holmes stories. It is an in progress work, which is being added to expanded as new dates are verified.)

1855: Charles Altamont Doyle, youngest son of the political cartoonist John Doyle ('H.B.'), and Mary Foley, his Irish landlady's daughter, marry in Edinburgh on 31 July.

1859: Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, third child and elder son of ten siblings, born at 11 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, on 22 May and baptized into the Roman Catholic religion of his parents.

1868–75: ACD commences two years' education under the Jesuits at Hodder, followed by five years at its senior sister college, Stonyhurst, both in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire; becomes a popular storyteller amongs his fellow pupils, writes verses, edits an [unofficial] school paper, and makes one close friend, James Ryan of Glasgow and Ceylon. Doyle family resides at 3 Sciennes Hill Place, Edinburgh.

1875–6: ACD passes London Matriculation Examination at Stonyhurst and studies for a year in the Jesuit college at Feldkirch, Austria.

1876–7: ACD becomes a student of medicine at Edinburgh University on the advice of Bryan Charles Waller, now lodging with the Doyle family at 2 Argyle Park Terrace.

1877–80: Bryan Charles Waller leases 23 George Square, Edinburgh as a 'consulting pathologist', with all the Doyles as residents. ACD continues medical studies, becoming surgeon's clerk to Joseph Bell at Edinburgh; also takes temporary medical assistantships with Dr Richardson (Sheffield), Dr Elliott (Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire), and Dr Hoare (Birmingham), the last leading to a close friendship with his employer's family. First story published, 'The Mystery of Sasassa Valley' in Chambers's Journal (6 September 1879); first non-fiction published—'Gelseminum as a Poison', British Medical Journal (20 September 1879). Sometime previously, ACD sends 'The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe' to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, but it is filed and forgotten.

1880: (Feb.–Sep.) ACD serves as a surgeon on the Greenland whaler Hope of Peterhead.

1881: ACD graduates MB, CM(Edin.); Waller and the Doyles living at 15 Lonsdale Terrace, Edinburgh.

1881–2: (Oct.–Jan.) ACD serves as surgeon on the steamer Mayumba to West Africa, spending three days with U.S. Minister to Liberia, Henry Highland Garnet, black abolitionist leader, then dying. (July–Aug.) Visits Foley relatives in Lismore, Co. Waterford, Ireland.

1882: Ill-fated partnership with George Turnavine Budd in Plymouth. ACD moves to Southsea, Portsmouth, in June. ACD published in London Society, All the Year Round, The Lancet, and The British Journal of Photography. Over the next eight years ACD becomes an increasingly successful general practioner at Southsea.

1882–3: Break-up of the Doyle family in Edinburgh. Charles Altamont Doyle henceforth confined because of alcoholism and epilepsy. Mary Foley Doyle resident in Masongill Cottage on the Waller estate at Masongill, Yorkshire. Innes Doyle (b. 1873) resides with ACD as schoolboy and surgery page from September 1882.

1883: 'The Captain of the Pole-Star' published (Temple Bar, Jan.), as well as a steady stream of minor pieces. Works on The Mystery of Cloomber.

1884: ACD publishes 'J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement' (Cornhill Magazine, Jan.), 'The Heiress of Glenmahowley' (Temple Bar, Jan.), 'The Cabman's Story' (Cassell's Saturday Journal, May); working on The Firm of Girdlestone.

1885: Publishes 'The Man from Archangel' (London Society, Jan.). John Hawkins, briefly a resident patient with ACD, dies of cerebral meningitis. Louise Hawkins, his sister, marries ACD (Aug.). Travels in Ireland for honeymoon. Awarded Edinburgh MD.

1886: Writing A Study in Scarlet.

1887: A Study in Scarlet published in Beeton's Christmas Annual.

1888: (July) First book edition of A Study in Scarlet published by Ward, Lock; (Dec.) The Mystery of Cloomber published.

1889: (Feb.) Micah Clarke (ACD's novel of the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685) published. Mary Louise Conan Doyle, ACD's eldest child, born. Unauthorised publication of Mysteries and Adventures (published later as The Gully of Bluemansdyke and My Friend the Murderer). The Sign of the Four and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray commissioned by Lippincott's.

1890: (Jan.) 'Mr [R.L.] Stevenson's Methods in Fiction' published in the National Review. (Feb.) The Sign of the Four published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. (Mar.) First authorized short-story collection, The Captain of the Pole-Star and Other Tales, published. (Apr.) The Firm of Girdlestone published. (Oct.) First book edition of The Sign of Four published by Spencer Blackett.

1891: ACD sets up as an eye specialist at 2 Upper Wimpole Street, off Harley Street, while living at Montague Place. Moves to South Norwood. (July–Dec.) The first six 'Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' published in George Newnes's Strand Magazine. (Oct.) The White Company published. Beyond the City first published in Good Cheer, the special Christmas number of Good Words.

1892: (Jan–June) Six more Holmes stories published in the Strand, with another in December. (Mar.) The Doings of Raffles Haw published (first serialized in Alfred Harmsworth's penny paper Answers, Dec. 1891–Feb. 1892). (14 Oct.) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes published by Newnes. (31 Oct.) Waterloo story The Great Shadow published. Alleyne Kingsley Conan Doyle born. Newnes republishes The Sign of Four.

1893: 'Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' (second series) continues in the Strand, to be published by Newnes as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Dec.), minus 'The Cardboard Box'. Holmes apparently killed in 'The Final Problem' (Dec.) to free ACD for 'more serious literary work'. (May) The Refugees published. Jane Annie, or, the Good Conduct Prize (musical comedy co-written with J.M. Barrie) fails at the Savoy Theatre. (10 Oct.) Charles Altamont Doyle dies.

1894: (Oct.) Round the Red Lamp, a collection of medical short stories, published, several for the first time. The Stark Munro Letters, a fictionalized autobiography, begun, to be concluded the following year. ACD on U.S. lecture tour with Innes Doyle. (Dec.) The Parasite published. 'The Medal of Brigadier Gerard' published in the Strand.

1895: 'The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard published in the Strand.

1896: (Feb.) The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard published by Newnes. ACD settles at Hindhead, Surrey, to minimize effects of his wife's tuberculosis. (Nov.) Rodney Stone, a pre-Regency mystery, published. Self-pastiche, 'The Field Bazaar', appears in the Edinburgh University Student (20 Nov.)

1897: (May) Napoleonic novel Uncle Bernac published. Three 'Captain Sharkey' pirate stories published in Pearson's Magazine (Jan., Mar., May). Home at Undershaw, Hindhead.

1898: (Feb.) The Tragedy of the Korosko published. (June) Publishes Songs of Action, a verse collection. (June–Dec.) Begins to publish 'Round the Fire Stories' in the Strand—'The Beetle Hunter', 'The Man with the Watches', 'The Lost Special', 'The Sealed Room', 'The Black Doctor', 'The Club-Footed Grocer', and 'The Brazilian Cat'. E[rnest] W[illiam] Hornung (ACD's brother-in-law_ creates A.J. Raffles and in 1899 dedicates the first stories to ACD.

1899: (Jan.–May) Concludes 'Round the Fire' series in the Strand with 'The Japanned Box', 'The Jew's Breast-Plate', 'B.24', 'The Latin Tutor', and 'The Brown Hand'. (Mar.) Publishes A Duet with an Occasional Chorus, a version of his own romance. (Oct.–Dec.) 'The Croxley Master', a boxing story, published in the Strand. William Gillette begins 33 years starring in Sherlock Holmes, a play by Gillette and ACD.

1900: Accompanies volunteer-staffed Langman hospital as unofficial supervisor to support British forces in the Boer War. (Mar.) Publishes short-story collection, The Green Flag and Other Stories of War and Sport. (Oct.) The Great Boer War published. Unsuccessful Liberal Unionist parliamentary candidate for Edinburgh Central.

1901: (Aug.) 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' begins serialization in the Strand, subtitled 'Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes'.

1902: (Jan.) The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct published. 'Sherlockian' higher criticism begun by Frank Sidgwick in Cambridge Review (23 Jan.) (Mar.) The Hound of the Baskervilles published by Newnes. ACD accepts knighthood with reluctance.

1903: (Sept.) Adventures of Gerard published by Newnes (previously serialized in the Strand). (Oct.) 'The Return of Sherlock Holmes' begins in the Strand. Author's Edition of ACD's major works published in twelve volumes by Smith, Elder and thirteen by D. Appleton & Co. of New York, with prefaces by ACD; many titles omitted.

1904: 'Return of Sherlock Holmes' continues in the Strand; series designed to conclude with 'The Abbey Grange' (Sept.), but ACD develops earlier allusions and produces 'The Second Stain' (Dec.)

1905: (Mar.) The Return of Sherlock Holmes published by Newnes. (Dec.) Serialization of 'Sir Nigel' begun in the Strand (concluded Dec. 1906).

1906: (Nov.) Book publication of Sir Nigel. ACD defeated as Unionist candidate for Hawick District in general election. (4 July) Death of Louise ('Touie'), Lady Conan Doyle. ACD deeply affected.

1907: ACD clears the name of George Edalji (convicted in 1903 of cattle-maiming). (18 Sept.) Marries Jean Leckie. (Nov.) Publishes Through the Magic Door, a celebration of his literary mentors (earlier version serialized in Great Thoughts, 1894).

1908: Moves to Windlesham, Crowborough, Sussex. (Jan.) Death of Sidney Paget. (Sept.) Round the Fire Stories published, including some not in earlier Strand series. (Sept.–Oct.) 'The Singular Experience of Mr John Scott Eccles' (later retitled as 'The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge') begins occasional series of Holmes stories in the Strand.

1909: ACD becomes President of the Divorce Law Reform Union (until 1919). Denis Percy Stewart Conan Doyle born. Takes up agitation against Belgian oppression in the Congo.

1910: (Sept.) 'The Marriage of the Brigadier', the last Gerard story, published in the Strand, and (Dec.) the Holmes story 'The Devil's Foot'. ACD takes six-month lease on Adelphi Theatre; the play The Speckled Band opens there, eventually running for 346 performances. Adrian Malcolm Conan Doyle born.

1911: (Apr.) The Last Galley (short stories, mostly historical) published. Two more Holmes stories appear in the Strand: 'The Red Circle' (Mar, Apr.) and 'The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax' (Dec.). ACD declares for Irish Home Rule, under the influence of Sir Roger Casement.

1912: (Apr.–Nov.) The first Professor Challenger story, The Lost World, published in the Strand, book publication in Oct. Jean Lean Annette Conan Doyle (afterwards Air Commandant Dame Jean Conan Doyle, Lady Bromet) born.

1913: (Feb.) Writes 'Great Britain and the Next War' (Fortnightly Review). (Aug.) Second Challenger story, The Poison Belt, published. (Dec.) 'The Dying Detective' published in the Strand. ACD campaigns for a channel tunnel.

1914: ACD visits North America, principally to visit Jasper Park at the invitation of the Canadian Government.
20 May: Leaves Southampton aboard SS Olympic of the White Star Line
27 May: Arrives in New York. Staying at Hotel Plaza.
28 May: Inspected skyscrapers. Visited the Tombs prison with Burns detectives.
Was guest of honour at the dinner of the Pilgrims of the United States at the Whitehall Club.
Went to theatre to see 'A Scrap of Paper', starring John Drew and Ethel Barrymore.
29 May: Visited City Hall in the company of Lieutenant William Kennel, met Mayor Michael.
Attended private dinner for 14 guests at the home of Mrs Joseph Palmer Knapp, 247 Fifth Avenue.
30 May: Visited Sing Sing prison with William J. Burns. Watched a game of baseball between
New York and Phildelphia Athletics.
31 May: Lunched with William S. Kenny in Bay Ridge. Dinner at Hotel Shelburne, Brighton Beach,
before visiting Coney Island as guest of William J. Burns. Visited Coney Island Police stattion.
1 June: Attended funeral of John L. Griffiths, late U.S. Consul-General in London.
Conference with F. Ray Comstock and Percival Wilde to discuss Wilde's dramatisation
of 'How It Happened'. Attended opening of Plaza Summer Garden and Air Terrace.
2 June: Left New York.
3 June:
Arrived in Montreal.
4 June: Addressed the Montreal Canadian Club on 'The Future of Canadian Literature'.
5 June: Arrived at Sarnia Wharf to board SS Harmonic.
6 June: On the Great Lakes. Stopped at Sault Ste. Marie where he visited the Algoma Indian School.
7 June: Visited Fort William.
8 June: Visited Winnipeg.
9 June: Arrived at Edmonton late in the evening.
10 June: Interviews followed by late afternoon address to the Edmonton Canadian Club.
11 – 19 June: A restful break in Jasper Park.
18 June: Writes the poem 'The Athabasca Trail'
19 June: Pitches the first ball in a baseball game at Jasper between Jasper and Edson.
21 June: Returned to Winnipeg.
23 June: Left Winnipeg for Algonquin Park.
30 June: Visited Niagara Falls.
1 July (Dominion Day):
Arrived at Ottawa's Grand Central Station in the evening. Spent evening at Government
House as guest of Lieutenant-Governor Sir Douglas Cameron.

2 July: Addressed Ottawa Canadian Club at Chateau Laurier.
3 July: Returned to Montreal.
4 July: Sailed for Liverpool aboard SS Megantic.


(July) 'Danger!', warning of the dangers of a war-time blockade of Britain, published in the Strand. (4 Aug.) Britain declares war on Germany. ACD forms local volunteer force.

1914–15: (Sept.) The Valley of Fear begins serialization in the Strand (concluding May 1915).

1915: (27 Feb.) The Valley of Fear published by George H. Doran in New York. (June) The Valley of Fear published in London by Smith, Elder (transferred with rest of ACD stock to John Murray when the firm is sold on the death of Reginald Smith). Five Holmes films released in Germany (ten more during the ware).

1916: (Apr., May) First instalments of The British Campaign in France and Flanders 1914 appear in the Strand. (Aug.) A Visit to Three Fronts published. Sir Roger Casement convicted of high treason after Dublin Easter Week Rising and executed despite appeals for clemency by ACD and others.

1917: War censor interdicts ACD's history of the 1916 campaign in the Strand. (Sept.) 'His Last Bow' published in the Strand. (Oct.) His Last Bow published by John Murray.

1918: (Apr.) ACD publishes The New Revelation, proclaiming himself a Spiritualist. (Dec.) Danger! and Other Stories published. Permitted to resume accounts of 1916 and 1917 campaigns in the Strand, but that for 1918 never serialized. Death of eldest son, Captain Kingsley Conan Doyle, from influenza aggravated by war wounds.

1919: Death of Brigadier-General Innes Doyle (ACD's brother) from post-war pneumonia.

1920–30: ACD engaged in world-wide crusade for Spiritualism.

1921–2: ACD's one-act play, The Crown Diamond, tours with Dennis Neilson-Terry as Holmes.

1921: (Oct.) 'The Mazarin Stone' (apparently based on The Crown Diamond) published in the Strand. Death of mother, Mary Foley Doyle.

1922: (Feb.Mar.) 'The Problem of Thor Bridge' in the Strand. (July) John Murray publishes a collected edition of the non-Holmes short stories in six volumes: Tales of the Ring and Camp, Tales of Pirates and Blue Water, Tales of Terror and Mystery, Tales of Twilight and the Unseen, Tales of Adventure and Medical Life, and (Nov.) Tales of Long Ago. (Sept.) Collected edition of ACD's poems published by Murray.

1923: (Mar.) 'The Creeping Man' published in the Strand.

1924: (Jan.) 'The Sussex Vampire' appears in the Strand. (June) 'How Watson Learned the Trick', ACD's own Holmes pastiche, appears in The Book of the Queen's Dolls' House Library. (Sept.) Memories and Adventures published (reprinted with additions, deletions, and index 1930).

1925: (Jan.) 'The Three Garridebs' and (Feb.–Mar.) 'The Illustrious Client' published in the Strand. (July) The Land of Mist, a Spiritualist novel featuring Challenger, begins serialization in the Strand.

1926: (Mar.) The Land of Mist published. Strand publishes 'The Three Gables' (Oct.), 'The Blanched Soldier' (Nov.), and 'The Lion's Mane' (Dec.).

1927: Strand publishes 'The Retired Colourman' (Jan.), 'The Veiled Lodger' (Feb.), and 'Shoscombe Old Place' (Apr.). (June) Murray publishes The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.

1928: (Oct.) The Complete Sherlock Holmes Short Stories published by Murray.

1929: (June) The Conan Doyle Stories (containing the six separate volumes issued by Murray in 1922) published. (July) The Maracot Deep and Other Stories, ACD's last collection of his fictional work.

1930: (7 July, 8:30 a.m.) Death of Arthur Conan Doyle at his home, Windlesham, in Crowborough.

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