SAM_0655 I admit that I knew a little about Arthur Conan Doyle.  A little. Now I know much more. Alistair Duncan writes in such a clear way as to enable us to envision the events as they were unfolding during the Undershaw years – the years that Arthur Conan Doyle and his family resided at this home which he had built in Hindhead in Surrey. Witness its birth, life and uncertain future.
Built in 1897, the house soon became alive with activity.  Children playing, friends and relations visiting, author creating.
 The years that followed showed scandals, speculations, successes, controvercies and conflicts.Within these walls more happened in the life of ACD than most people realize.  Mr. Duncan diarized the life of the Doyles in and around Undershaw.There were new beginnings, followed by sad endings. There was news of great importance, disapointments, literary genius was exercised, distinguished visitors walked the halls.Eventually, the house, although still physically visible, was leased. And after all the awards and achievements bestowed upon its famous resident, time went on and its life faded.Throughout the book, are rarely-seen drawings and photographs from the author’s collection.

With the more recent photos of Undershaw we can see how we need to breathe life back into the home, as ACD did with Holmes.

Also by Alistair Duncan:

  • “Eliminate the Impossible”
  • “Close to Holmes”
  • “The Norwood Author”

There is an introduction by Mark Gatiss, and praise from Roger Johnson.

For me, this book filled in many blanks.  It pulled the puzzle together.

Definitely a must-read.