OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS
SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE was born in Edinburgh in 1859 and educated at Stonyhurst. After studying medicine at Edinburgh University, he set up practice in Southsea, later moving to London. Early literary work appeared in Blackwood's and The Cornhill, but the first Sherlock Holmes adventure was published in Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887. Entitled ' A Study in Scarlet', it attracted little attention. Doyle and Holmes only found their true feet in The Strand Magazine: the fifty-six short stories featuring the detective appeared within its covers between 1892 and 1927. The creator always found his greatest creation tiresome, and Doyle hoped that he would be remembered for his historical novels, such as The White Company and Sir Nigel. Doyle also became a leading public figure apart from his writing, as MCC cricketer, defender of imprisoned innocents, and, latterly, foremost English publicist of spiritualism. He was knighted in 1902 and died at Crowborough, Sussex, in 1930.
SIR SYDNEY CASTLE ROBERTS, born in 1887, was a noted Holmesian scholar as well as a Johnsonian expert. Throughout his life he was associated with Cambridge, being Secretary of the Cambridge University Press, Master of Pembroke College from 1948 to 1958, and Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1949 to 1951. He was President of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London from its inception in 1952 until his death in 1966.