Known as 'the great northern diver' to his crewmates, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) fell into the Arctic Ocean on three occasions during his voyage as doctor on a whaler, before becoming part of the harpooning crew. This adventure sets the scene for the remarkable variety of his later life. In his autobiography, first published in 1923, he details everything from that first voyage to his literary success, his collaboration with playwright J. M. Barrie (whose Sherlock Holmes parody is included), and his involvement in the setting up of volunteer groups during the First World War. He describes how the methods of Sherlock Holmes helped him solve several real-life mysteries and, in a touching counterpoint to this scientific approach, closes with a chapter on his belief in spiritualism. Characteristically astute and entertaining, this book will appeal to students of early twentieth-century history, Holmes fans and the curious general reader alike.
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