Readersforum's Blog

September 29, 2011

Conan Doyle boom in literature and cinema

Arthur Conan Doyle. © Photo:

By Karina Ivashko

A literary sensation occurred in the UK on the 26th of September: Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Narrative of John Smith came out 130 years after it was written.

How did it happen that the debut novel of the English classic was lost for so many years? This is a mystery even for experts of the British Library which has the writer’s largest archive. It is really a strange story. Conan Doyle is believed to have written The Narrative of John Smith at the age of 23 and sent it to a publisher hoping for a publication. The manuscript was lost and the author had to re-write it from memory. However, he did not make any more attempts to publish it. Meanwhile, experts believe that this first large work of the writer is of great cultural significance. “In the main character John Smith one can easily trace the author’s features and the literary methods are similar to those which Conan Doyle used in his more mature years,” Alexandra Yeretian from the Slovo Russian publishing house says in her interview for The Voice of Russia. Slovo will publish the lost novel for Russian readers already in December:

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