Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930)
Born: May 22, 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Died: July 7, 1930 (age 71) in Crowborough, Sussex, England, UK
Doyle said that the character of Sherlock Holmes was inspired by Dr. Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle had worked as a clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing large conclusions from the smallest observations.
His best quotes:
As a rule, said Holmes, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.
Any truth is better than indefinite doubt.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.
Life is infinitely stranger than the mind of man can imagine.” “Singularity is almost invariably a clue. The more featureless and commonplace a crime is, the more difficult is it to bring it home.
Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.