Printed Page Bookshop
January 2023

Everyone knows about Sherlock Holmes,
but we bet you didn't know these things about his creator
Becoming the creator of fiction's most famous detective is what we remember Sir Arthur Ignattius Conan Doyle for, but he was (and wanted to be) a lot more than a writer.  Here are some things you may not have known about him:
  • He was almost Dr. Doyle.  He set up an opthalmology practice in London but wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient ever crossed his door. 
  • He also was almost an elected official.  He ran for Parliament twice, but wasn't elected.
  • He believed in fairies.  He was convinced fairies existed, even writing a book, "The Coming of the Fairies," about the authenticity of the Cottingley Fairy photographs (a famous hoax) and spending a fortune promoting the images.
  • He was an avid sportsman.  He helped to popularize skiing and predicted that in the future hundreds of Englishmen would come to Switzerland for the "skiing season." 
  • He was one of the earliest motorists in Britain.  Having purchased a car without ever having driven one before, he took part in the Prince Henry Tour in 1911 -- an international road competition organized by Prince Henry of Prussia.
  • He didn't like Sherlock very much.  In 1891, he wrote to his mother, "I think of slaying Holmes...and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things."  He even raised his fees extortionately to put his publisher off, but found instead the publisher was happy to pay more, thus making him one of the best-paid authors of his day.  
  • He was something of a detective in real life.  Conan Doyle got involved with The Curious Case of Oscar Slater -- the murder of Marion Gilchrist, a wealthy elderly lady from Glasgow.  He uncovered new evidence, recalled witnesses and questioned the prosecution's evidence, all of which was then published as a plea for Slater's pardon.  Slater eventually was released from prison with a substantial amont of money as compensation, of which Doyle never saw a penny.
  • He died holding a flower.  His dramatic death on July 7, 1930 saw him collapse in his garden, clutching his heart with one hand and holding a flower in the other.  He whispered his last words to his wife:  "You are wonderful."
    Source:  Flora Hughes-Onslow

This Month's Puzzler

On January 4, 1965, this American-born English poet died at age 76 in
London. Born in St. Louis in 1888, he graduated from Harvard in 1909 and
then studied philosophy for a year at the University of Paris. He won a
scholarship to attend Merton College, Oxford University, and went on to
became a British citizen in 1939. One of the greatest poets of the 20th
century, he was also a respected playwright, an influential literary
critic, a gifted essayist, and a talented editor. His works helped to
revitalize English poetry, ultimately helping him win the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1948. In addition to his poetry, he was also the author of
many powerful prose lines, including this one:

"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go."

Who was this man?  Answer below.
Our next chapbook will be out soon!  Reserve your copy now
Our fifth chapbook -- stories about Printed Page and the people we meet there -- will be out soon.  It's titled, "The Karamazov Letter."  The title comes from a letter a prisoner sent to his girlfriend.  We found the letter in a copy of "The Brothers Karamazov."  Cost of the chapbook is $7.

Puzzler answer

T. S. Eliot.  If you like our Puzzler, find more on our Facebook page.  
Thanks to Dr. Mardy Grothe for the use of his puzzler.  Visit him at

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