From Ship To Sherlock:Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Arctic’ Diary called Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

See on Scoop.itNunavut Stories

On Thursday, July 29, 1880, Doyle wrote, “Came across a most extraordinary natural snow house, about 12 feet high, shaped like a beehive with a door and a fine room inside in which I sat. Traveled a considerable distance, and would have gone to the Pole, but my matches ran short and I couldn’t get a smoke.” (Courtesy of University of Chicago Press)

 

[excerpt]

In 1880, years before creating Sherlock Holmes, a young Arthur Conan Doyle went to the Arctic as the surgeon aboard a whaling ship. He recorded his adventures in journals full of notes and drawings, which have been published for the first time in a book called Dangerous Work.

On June 15, 1880, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a vivid sentence in his diary. It read, “The only difference in the weather is that the fog is thicker and the wind more utterly odious and depraved.”

Knowing that he was the creator of Sherlock Holmes, you might think Doyle is referring to the thick London fog drifting outside the windows of 221B Baker Street. But this sentence was written years before the first Holmes novel and it describes a considerably harsher environment — the thick fog and depraved wind of the Arctic, where Doyle traveled when he was 20.

Doyle’s journals from that voyage have now been published for the first time in a book called Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure. Jon Lellenberg, one of the editors of the book, joins NPR’s Steve Inskeep to discuss Doyle’s early influences and the story of how he ended up on an Arctic whaling ship.

[…]

Hear this National Public Radio program here:

http://api.npr.org/m3u/1163606575-9c2ef0.m3u?orgId=1&topicId=1033

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See on www.northcountrypublicradio.org

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