Arthur Conan Doyle

As part of my studies for Victorian Literature, I was required to do a presentation about Sherlock Holmes. My part of the project was to look into the authors background and life. So in this post I’ll be discussing his parents life.

Arthur’s mother was Mary Foley and was Irish and was Catholic. She was born in Wexford Ireland in 1832. Her mother however was originally protestant, and then converted to Catholicism to marry Marys father. She was disowned from her family because of it.

Arthurs father was an illistatur, artist and watercolourist – the famous Charles Altamont Doyle. He was born in London, England in March in 1832. Although he was english but his parents were both Irish Catholic. In 1849 Charles moved to Edinburgh where he met arthurs mother Mary. The couple married in July 1855.  They had 9 children together, 7 girls and 2 boys.

Charles however suffered from depression and struggled with an alcohol addiction and this disrupted the upbringing for the whole family. In 1864 the family had to be separated due his addiction and they were housed in different places across Edinburgh. Fortunately, in 1867 the family was reunited because of the determination of Mary his mother.

Charles ultimately had a mental breakdown in 1881. He was then sent to a nursing home called Fordoun House. A home which specialised alchol abuse. While in the home he contuied to paint and draw. He then died in 1893.

Mary was always supportive of Arthur and was known to be a very strong influence on his life and works. She was also known to have been a great storyteller. Mary died in 1920.

Looking into the background of the famous Arthur Canon Doyle, it was interesting to discover his irish roots. Finding out that his mother’s family was protestant and disowned her for converting was particularly interesting as Arthur is known to have struggled with the Catholic faith.



After starting my study of Victorian Literature, I saw that we had Sherlock as one of the texts to study. I have always had a deep love for the stories of Sherlock Holmes and when I saw this text I was delighted. I had never read the original texts and the chance to study it fascinated me.

 Sherlock is one of the best television series available at the moment.  The re-imagining’s of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle into modern day London has presented us with a spectacular and brilliant homage to the author. The witty and cutting remarks of our protagonist provide entertainment throughout the show and is bought to life by the incredible and handsome Benedict Cumberbatch without whom the show may not have flourished.  The details which has been incorporated from the original novels serve to enrich the existing storylines and add to the overall effect of the series.

Sherlock season 4

Of course you can’t have Sherlock without Doctor Watson and Martin Freeman could not play the part better. The two have amazing chemistry and really bring the friendship to life adding to the credibility of the programme and the authenticity.  The relationships within the series are portrayed with skill and are one of the attracting aspects of the show.

I started watching this show during my leaving which was probably a very bad idea considering how addictive it is and then the torturous wait for the next episode is so long! Definitely cut into studying time but I got my choice of course so it can’t have done that much harm. But the extra-long episodes make it so worth it and if you haven’t seen it yet I cannot recommend it enough.

Now, no show is complete without an evil mastermind and the wonderful Irish actor Andrew Scott portrays Moriarty so well that he literally becomes the character and it’s impossible to see him as anything else. Honestly I adore him as this character, the vitality and humour he brings the role doesn’t dampen the malevolent nature of Moriarty at all and simply adds a sinister and insane edge.