Some Little Known Facts About Arthur Conan Doyle

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Most people who hear the name “Arthur Conan Doyle” immediately think of the world’s greatest detective. No, not Batman. Doyle wrote over 60 mysteries with Sherlock Holmes as the central character, and a host of non-fiction and poetry books. He also dabbled in science-fiction.

The part most people don’t know, perhaps because these factoids were lost to common knowledge, was that Doyle began his career as a practitioner of medicine.

Doyle came from a wealthy family, and he was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His mother, Mary Foley, was known as a gifted storyteller and an artist. She raised him on enchanting tales that spurred his creativity and curiosity. Unfortunately, his father was a drunk so his uncles were his primary caretakers.

He enrolled in medical school in 1876, which was also his first time writing fiction. “The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe” stands out as one of the earliest examples of his unpublished fiction. By 1880, he’d found a job as a physician aboard a whaling vessel. He did two years with the vessel before settling on land to open his own practice.

Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out for Doyle. His independent practice was set up in 1882, but he had so much time between patients that he began writing fiction instead. That led to Doyle publishing a “Study in Scarlet” in 1887, which was the first novel to introduce Sherlock Holmes and his counterpart, Watson.

He died at the age of 71 from a heart attack. A statue in Doyle’s honor is erected at Crowborough, where he lived 23 years of his life.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or Facebook.