If Conan Doyle's spirit is still around, as he believed it would be, he must be surprised and disappointed at the way he is remembered today. Although the spiritualist church still survives, the fierce devotion that Conan Doyle gave to it is almost forgotten. His spiritualist books are rarely read. His literary works have fared somewhat better—the stories about Brigadier Gerard and Professor Challenger and the novel The White Company are still in print and can be found in libraries—but Conan Doyle's reputation does not rest on them. Only Sherlock Holmes, whose value Conan Doyle never fully understood, still survives with the same popularity he had when his author was alive.
Sherlock Holmes has taken on a life beyond the stories written by Conan Doyle. Many other writers have produced Sherlock Holmes stories, most notably Nicholas Meyer, beginning with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. More movies have been made about Holmes than any other character, real or historical. Both William Baring-Gould and Vincent Starrett have even written biographies of Holmes. The Abbey National Building Society, which today occupies 221B Baker Street, employs a staff member whose job