Conan Doyle's Edinburgh
Join celebrated literary historian and Arthur Conan Doyle expert Owen Dudley Edwards on a tour of Conan Doyle's Edinburgh, taking us to some of the places which inspired Sherlock Holmes and his other fictional creations.
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Starting at Picardy Place in Edinburgh, Owen Dudley Edwards begins his literary tour of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Edinburgh. He discusses, among other things, the religious origins of Conan Doyle’s name.
Owen Dudley Edwards tells us about the Catholic colony that surrounded St Mary’s RC Cathedral, how it led to the meeting of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Irish immigrant parents and its relation to the Sherlock Holmes story, The Crooked Man.
We find ourselves in Portobello, where Conan Doyle came after his Grandmother’s flat had been sold. It is here that Conan Doyle probably first saw the sea; he was to spend much time at sea, travelling to Greenland and to West Africa. Owen tells us how significant this was to Conan Doyle’s artistic outlook including how it informed his negative perceptions of the Ku Klux Klan.
Near the Cameron Toll supermarket, at the Conan Doyle Medical Centre, we’re at the house where Conan Doyle was brought when his father’s drinking temporarily broke up the family. Owen tells us how staying here impressed upon Conan Doyle a love of history and discusses a possible source for Sherlock Holmes’ love of second hand books.
Conan Doyle lived at the top flat of 3 Sciennes Hill Place from the late 1860s. Owen discusses Conan Doyle’s reduced circumstances, his illustrious relatives, involvement with a Catholic street gang and how this influenced the Baker Street Irregulars in the Sherlock Holmes stories.
In the town which the Romans intended to be the capital of Scotland, Owen muses upon a possible source for the Hound of the Baskervilles.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s father worked here during the Victorian refurbishment and Owen speculates how this inspired Conan Doyle.
A picture, which may be in either the National Gallery of Scotland or Bute House, and how it is used in the Sherlock Holmes’ novel, The Valley of Fear.
This is where Conan Doyle studied medicine. Owen tell us about how Conan Doyle’s experience of a rectorial election made it into his novel, The Firm of Girdlestone.
Owen takes us to what was a popular student haunt of not just Conan Doyle but also Robert Louis Stevenson.
In the final stop of our literary tour of Conan Doyle’s Edinburgh, Owen Dudley Edwards talks about the man who inspired the young Arthur to become a medical student.