150th Anniversary Celebration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Submitted by Editor on Sun, 26 Apr '09 12.45pm

The 150th Anniversary Celebration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is on Friday 22 May (7.30-10pm) and Saturday 23 May (10am-5pm) 2009. Speakers include: Andrew Lycett, Owen Dudley Edwards,
Prof Alistair Fowler and James Mavor

Arthur Conan
Doyle was born in Edinburgh on the 22nd May
1859. The creator
of the world's most famous fictional detective drew heavily on the place of his
birth and the city where he studied medicine. It was the medical world of
Edinburgh that provided Conan Doyle with the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes
and many other characters that populated his books, including his explorer hero
Professor Challenger.

The real
influences on Conan Doyle's writings are often overshadowed by the tremendous
success of his characterisation of London in the Sherlock Holmes' stories.
Holmes' famous Baker Street address, equally fictional, has made London the
somewhat undisputed centre for Conan Doyle pilgrims. However, it was his home city
that first fuelled his storytelling genius and inspired the creation of his
‘great scientific detective'. Holmes was based on the real life Edinburgh
surgeon, and Conan Doyle's teacher, Joseph Bell.

It is the
importance of Edinburgh and the medical influences in Conan Doyle's
life and
work that brings together leading Conan Doyle authorities in the city
to
celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth on the 22nd May. The event
will take place at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh where
Conan Doyle sat his anatomy exams, and of which his great mentor Joseph
Bell
was President.

Speakers
confirmed include:

Owen Dudley Edwards, Historian and Sherlock Holmes authority

Andrew Lycett, author of the acclaimed 2007 biography
of Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created
Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Professor Alistair Fowler, eminent academic of Conan Doyle's
contribution to English Literature

James Mavor, screenwriter and film-maker whose TV
drama Reichenbach Falls was based on
the Ian Rankin short story The Acid Test

On the evening of
Conan Doyle's birthday, the 22nd May, the celebrations include:

  • A
    special evening drinks reception in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh's
    historic Surgeons' Hall with appreciations of Conan Doyle given by Owen Dudley
    Edwards and Andrew Lycett, with others TBC
  • A
    reading and interpretation of the Holmes' short story The Dying Detective
  • A
    private view of the exhibition Conan
    Doyle and Joseph Bell: The Real Sherlock Holmes
    in Surgeons' Hall Pathology
    Museum

On Saturday 23rd May from 10am-5pm the guest speakers will give presentations on
aspects of Conan Doyle's life and work followed by audience questions and discussion.

Tickets costing
£55 are available from museum@rcsed.ac.uk or by telephone 0131 527 1649. Space is limited and early booking is advised.

For further
information or to arrange visits, contact Dawn Kemp, RCSEd Director of Heritage
on: d.kemp@rcsed.ac.uk ,
or Emma Black on: e.black@rcsed.ac.uk or 0131 527 1649.

Tickets & information
Telephone (info)
0131 527 1649
Telephone (box office)
0131 527 1649