7th July 1930

Author Arthur Conan Doyle dies

Edinburgh-born author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best remembered as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the private detective who took up residence at 221b Baker Street, London.

Doyle was born in 1859 and educated in Scotland, England, and Austria, and qualified as a doctor, but soon started writing stories. He sold the rights to his first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, in 1886, and he famously began to tire of his creation as Holmes’ fame grew. In 1893’s The Final Problem, Doyle ‘killed’ Holmes in a fall down the Reichenbach Falls. The public was furious, and Holmes was, perhaps inevitably, resurrected.

Arthur Conan Doyle dies

Doyle died of a heart attack at his home in East Sussex. The Dundee Evening Telegraph, on the evening of his death, revealed that he had been ill since the previous November. The newspaper’s obituary also revealed that he had “vigorously espoused the cause of Oscar Slater, who was sentenced to imprisonment for life for the alleged murder of Marion Gilchrist. Believing that there had been a grave miscarriage of justice, he conducted a strenuous campaign for the reopening of the case. In this he was ultimately successful and Slater was acquitted.”

Gloomy prediction

Doyle wasn’t optimistic for the future when he died, and the Belfast Telegraph of 7 July 1930 wrote that he believed that humanity was heading for another world war in the next 25 to 30 years if the terms of the Treaty of Versailles were not amended. In fact, the Second World War broke out just nine years later.

The same paper carried quotes from an interview that Doyle had given on his 71st birthday, just a couple of months previously, in which he had spoke again about his dislike of the close association he had with character he had created. He admitted “I am rather tired of hearing myself described as the author of Sherlock Holmes – why not, for a change, the author of ‘Rodney Stone’ or of ‘The White Company’ or of ‘Brigadier Gerard,’ or of ‘The Lost World’? One would think I had written nothing but detective stories.”



Other events that occured in July

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