Sherlock Holmes is a literary legend, a character known and loved all over the world, and familiar even to those who are not particularly "bookish". His amazing exploits are quoted, discussed, argued about, filmed, dramatised, analysed, and subjected to frequent academic scrutiny. What lies behind the emergence of this extraordinary character, who has so firm a grip on the world's imagination? Ivor Brown, the distinguished critic and writer, tells the story of a struggling young doctor, Arthur Conan Doyle, who was to become rich and famous as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and whose life was to be ruled by the demands of a public insatiable for more and more Holmes. Yet Doyle himself hated his own creation and longed to be rid of him, even killing him off at one stage and then being forced to restore him, so great was the public outcry. Doyle's own life was a colourful one, sometimes overshadowed by the Holmes cult, and Ivor Brown has put into perspective the various facets of Doyle's career as medical man, traveller, and passionate champion of many causes, for it was Conan Doyle's own experience of life which led him to write so vividly of a character with whom he had much in common.
From the inside jacket flap.