From Publishers Weekly
This fascinating collection of previously unpublished letters from the creator of Sherlock Holmes offers a revealing glimpse of a Renaissance man fated to be overshadowed by his most famous character. Beginning with correspondence from Doyle as an eight-year-old in 1867, the editors offer a warts-and-all picture of his life until 1920, 10 years before his death, covering the author's frank accounts of life at a boarding school, his struggles as a young doctor and aspiring writer, and his political advocacy. Those seeking insights into the creation of Holmes may be disappointed; while Doyle's ambivalence toward Holmes is well known, this collection reveals the extent to which he viewed his character principally as a source of income rather than a lasting legacy. The editors—Doyle experts Lellenberg and Stashower, and Doyle's great-nephew Foley—have nicely balanced the content: the letters reveal Doyle's stiff upper lip when he lost a son during the Great War, and his sense of humor, as in a hilarious report to his mother on the birth of his daughter Mary. This will be essential reading for all fans of Conan Doyle and his sleuth. (Andrew Lycett's biography of Conan Doyle, The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes,
is due from the Free Press this fall.) Illus. (Nov. 1)
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'Fairly hums with Conan Doyle's trademark enthusiasm.' Independent on Sunday 'Superbly edited by three Conan Doyle scholars, (it) sheds new light on the writer's work and inner life, as well as his various love affairs and spiritualist crises..."A Life in Letters" is a monument to the enduring popularity of the occupant of 221b Baker Street and greatest investigator of all...This plum pudding of a book is essential reading to fans of Conan Doyle.' Financial Times 'The selected letters...convey an almost physical presence of the author, with his strange mixture of kindness and carelessness, overbearing self-confidence and depressive self-doubt.' Economist
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