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Baker Street Wiki
Adrian Conan Doyle with his father.

Adrian Malcolm Conan Doyle (19 November 1910 - 3 June 1970) was the youngest son of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his second wife Jean, Lady Conan Doyle. He had two siblings, a sister, Jean, and a brother, Denis, as well as two half-siblings - sister Mary and brother Kingsley.

He was his father's literary executor after his mother died in 1940. He founded the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Foundation in Switzerland in 1965. On his death, his sister Jean Conan Doyle took over as their father's literary executor.

Additional Sherlock Holmes stories[]

Adrian Doyle produced additional Sherlock Holmes stories, some with the assistance of John Dickson Carr. The basis of his production was to complete the tales referenced in his father's stories, but which his father had never written. These Sherlock Holmes tales were written in 1952 and 1953, but have been republished subsequently. In 1954 a hard cover collection of the stories was published as The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes.

Discovery of unpublished Holmes story[]

On 12 September 1942, the Associated Press announced that an authentic, unpublished Sherlock Holmes story had been found by Adrian Conan Doyle. Supposedly written in his father's uniquely neat handwriting, the story was buried in a chest that contained family documents. However, as pointed out by Jon L. Lellenberg in Nova 57 Minor , the manuscript was not in Conan Doyle's handwriting, but typewritten. Sir Arthur's daughter Jean said she knew the manuscript was not written by her father. Adrian Conan Doyle refused to publish it. A month later, the Baker Street Irregulars wrote a letter to the Saturday Review of Literature, insisting that the story be published.

In the United States, Cosmopolitan magazine obtained it and published it in their August 1948 issue under the uncharacteristic title The Case of the Man who was Wanted. It was also published in London's Sunday Dispatch magazine the following January. Sherlockian Vincent Starrett doubted that the story was written by the elder Doyle and suggested that Adrian was the author.

In September 1945, a letter was received by Hesketh Pearson, a biographer of Arthur Conan Doyle. The letter inside stated, "My pride is not unduly hurt by your remark that 'The Man who was Wanted' is certainly not up to scratch for the sting is much mitigated by your going on to remark that it carries the authentic trade–mark! This, I feel, is a great compliment to my one and only effort at plagiarism." The letter was written by an architect named Arthur Whitaker who had sent the story to Arthur Conan Doyle in 1911 with a suggestion that they publish it as a joint collaboration. Doyle refused, but sent Whitaker a "cheque for ten guineas"[1] in payment for the story. Whitaker retained a carbon copy. After seeing it attributed in the Sunday Dispatch to Arthur Conan Doyle, Whitaker wrote a letter to Denis Conan Doyle explaining the true authorship. Denis forwarded the letter to his brother Adrian, who became angry, demanded proof, and threatened legal action. In 1949, the Doyles admitted, after seeing the carbon copy and listening to people who had read it in 1911, that Whitaker was the author. The story, which was thought by many people to be the work of Arthur Conan Doyle, has been published recently in the collection The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.[2]

Works about his father[]

Sir Arthur's widow Jean chose a spiritualist, the Rev. John Lamond, to write an authorised life of him, Arthur Conan Doyle: A Memoir (John Murray, 1931). The memoir emphasised his paranormal interests but was not what readers wanted, so after their mother's death Adrian and Denis grudgingly allowed Hesketh Pearson to write Conan Doyle: His Life and Art (Methuen, 1943). But Pearson's book offended Adrian and Denis by saying that the secret of Arthur Conan Doyle's success was that he was the "common man". Adrian threatened criminal proceedings against Pearson's "fakeography", and wrote an article in protest, and later a book The True Conan Doyle (John Murray, 1945). Later "When the BBC commissioned an anniversary talk from Hesketh Pearson, Adrian announced that if it went ahead it would never broadcast another Sherlock Holmes story. The Corporation caved in."[3] Lycett states that Pearson had met Arthur Conan Doyle at Francis Galton's home before the First World War. Pearson had idolised him from an early age, but was disappointed to find a thick-set broad-faced man with no more mystery than a pumpkin, who fulminated against Sherlock Holmes for preventing him from writing the historical novels he wanted.


  • The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Penguin Books, 1985, ISBN 0-14-007907-6 (originally published 1954 by J Murray, London)
  • The True Conan Doyle, (1945, London, John Murray; written about Arthur Conan Doyle, with a preface by Sir Hubert Gough)

Sherlock Holmes stories[]

The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes by Adrian Doyle and John Dickson Carr

Non-Holmes works[]

  • Heaven has Claws (1952, London, John Murray)
  • Lone Dhow (1963, London, Murray)
  • The Lover of the Coral Glades

See also[]


  1. The amount of the payment is quoted in the introduction to The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
  2. Published as "The Adventure of the Sheffield Banker" in The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
  3. The Man who created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett, page 464-466 (2007, Weidenfield & Nicolson, London & Viking, New York) ISBN 0-7432-7523-3
  • Lellenberg, Jon L., Nova 57 Minor, Gaslight Publications, Bloomington, 1990.