Doyle's Literary Legacy Explored
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
April 24, 2009 - He may be best known as a creator of modern detective fiction, but there is more to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle than Sherlock Holmes. A new exhibition, "Ever Westward': Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in American Culture," opening May 5 at Houghton Library, hopes to paint a fuller picture of Doyle's contributions to world literature, which range from historical fiction to personal memoir to science fiction and beyond.
Timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Doyle's birth, the exhibition is accompanied by a three-day symposium which will examine Doyle's literary legacy, as well as the enduring appeal of his most famous character - Sherlock Holmes.
"This exhibition will introduce people to many items they wouldn't normally see in a Doyle exhibition that focuses solely on Sherlock Holmes," said curator and Houghton Library staff member Peter X. Accardo.
Among the items exhibition visitors will see are several letters from Conan Doyle, the sole surviving prescription written by the then Dr. Conan Doyle, manuscripts, including the original manuscript of "The Adventures of the Three Students," photographs, prints and several rare American editions of Doyle's books, including a rare, pirated copy of The White Company, a historical novel Doyle considered his best.
The exhibition also serves as prelude for the May 7 through 9 symposium "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: A Sesquicentennial Assessment," which will include many scholars and Sherlockians, including John Bergquist, Peter E. Blau, Giles Constable, John Constable, Thomas Francis, Thomas A. Horrocks, Leslie S. Klinger, Andrew Lycett, Eve Mayer, Julie McKuras, Glen Miranker, Richard Olken, Daniel Posnansky, Constantine Rossakis, Steven Rothman, Charles J. Rzepka, Daniel Stashower, Randall Stock, and Michael Whelan.