Did Arthur Conan Doyle have any addiction?

By Sunil Kumar

Did Arthur Conan Doyle have any addiction?

Your question probably stems from his most famous creation; Sherlock Holmes and his drug addiction. I’ve read a few biographies of Doyle after spending many happy hours reading Sherlock’s adventures as a child.

Nowhere is it mentioned that Conan Doyle had an addiction of any sort. He apparently based his most famous fictional creation Sherlock Holmes on one of his eccentric teachers; a doctor in Edinburgh.

As a fledgling doctor earning little; he created Holmes as a diversion and amusement to earn some money; never imagining the worldwide fame and success of the fictional character.

His great interest in science and reason left aside; Arthur Conan Doyle in old age developed a great interest in Spiritualism; a semi-quack movement in Britain at the time and was even conned by some fake fairy photographs.

Conan Doyle by all accounts was a liberal and nice gentleman; and even defended an Indian Parsi; George Edalji in a famous case which exemplified racial prejudice prevalent in England at the time. Like other people of the time; he smoked cigars etc but no serious addiction in his personal life has ever been mentioned.

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