Success and Sickness: 1890-1900

Vienna and Harley Street

Conan Doyle continued writing while studying ophthalmology in Vienna. During this time his literary agent started a connection with the Strand Magazine which would become the home of Sherlock Holmes for many profitable years to come. Conan Doyle returned to England, briefly started a practice near Harley Street, but soon turned to writing full- time as Sherlock Holmes’s popularity grew.

London & Abroad

The famous short stories featuring the consulting detective first appeared in The Strand in 1891. Conan Doyle was soon in great demand and he was able to command high prices for his work. Growing bored of Sherlock Holmes, he killed him off in 1892, to free himself to focus on new projects. Things got even better with the birth of Kingsley, his first son, in the same year.

However, family life was marred when Louise was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Unable to take his ailing wife and young children with him, the by-now famous writer and his brother Innes set off for a lecture tour of America.

Upon his return to Europe, Conan Doyle was reunited with his family in Switzerland where he experimented with Norwegian skis. Conan Doyle hoped the mountain air would help Louise’s health. Seeing a positive effect, they returned the following year, then went on to visit Egypt.

Arthur Conan Doyle with his younger brother

Arthur Conan Doyle with his younger brother, Innes during their time in Portsmouth.

Two young children with their nanny

Mary and Kingsley Conan Doyle with their nanny.