|About this Recording
NA326612 - DOYLE, A.C.: Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (The), Vol. 5 (Unabridged)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes V
The Reigate Squire · The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet · The Yellow Face
Dr. Watson comments: ‘The stage lost a fine actor’ when Holmes chose to devote his formidable talents to the solution of crime. In two of these stories, The Reigate Squire and The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet, Sherlock Holmes demonstrates his thespian powers as he unravels the mysteries. In the first he explains a rural murder while in the second, Holmes’ timely intervention prevents something of a national – even royal – scandal.
The Boscombe Valley Mystery takes Holmes and Watson once again to the English countryside, but the famous detective uncovers old Australian animosities to get to the root of the problem. The Yellow Face, which concludes this selection, is one of the most fascinating in the whole canon, raising some key social issues of the time.
ABOUT THE READER
David Timson has performed in modern and classic plays across Great Britain and abroad, including Wild Honey for Alan Ayckbourn, Hamlet, The Man of Mode and The Seagull. He has been seen on TV in Nelson’s Column and Swallows and Amazons, and in the film The Russia House. A familiar and versatile audio and radio voice, he reads The Middle Way and performs in Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Naxos AudioBooks. This is his fifth volume of Sherlock Holmes stories for Naxos AudioBooks.
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859, in Edinburgh, a city soaked in history, which gave him a strong sense of the past – a sense he never lost.
He was educated at Stonyhurst School, where he excelled at sport, a lifelong interest, and developed a passion for reading. The ideals he read about in his history books influenced him all his life.
He trained to be a doctor at Edinburgh University, and before qualifying, signed on as ship’s surgeon aboard a whaler. The hardened crew’s tough stories of life at sea were to have a strong influence on his own burgeoning skill as a writer. Doyle began in medical practice at Southsea, in 1882, where he met his wife Louise Hawkins. The couple later moved to London.
His lack of success as a doctor was balanced by his growing reputation as an author. His future was assured after the creation of the scientific detective Sherlock Holmes, though Doyle was always of the opinion that his historical novels were his true life’s work. These included The White Company (1891), and The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard (1896). He also ventured into science fiction, having a great success with The Lost World (1912). His interest in history encouraged his patriotism, and at the time of the Boer War (1900), he published a pamphlet explaining the causes and true course of the war. It made him ‘the most famous man in England’.
Doyle’s first wife died in 1906, and he married Jean Leckie with whom he’d had a platonic relationship for some time. In his later years, Doyle developed a deep interest in Spiritualism, and espoused many minority causes. He traveled the world furthering the cause of Spiritualism, and died peacefully, convinced his spirit was eternal, in 1930. His simple philosophy of life was caught perfectly in the epitaph on his tombstone ‘Steel true, Blade straight.’ But Conan Doyle will always be remembered as the creator of the greatest fictional detective in the world; in those works his spirit is truly immortal.
Notes by David Timson
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