First Conan Doyle novel to be published
Published: 6th Jun 2011 17:10:39
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first novel, The Narrative of John Smith, is to be published for the first time.
The book, about a man's reflections on life after he finds himself confined to his room with gout, was written between 1883 and 1884.
Conan Doyle sent it to a publisher but it was lost in the post and he then had to reconstruct it from memory.
It was never finished. The first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, was printed three years later.
Rachel Foss, lead curator of modern literary manuscripts at the British Library, is set to publish The Narrative of John Smith this autumn.
She said it had been part of the British Library's Conan Doyle collection since 2007 and realised it would make a good publishing project.
The Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate gave their consent to the plan.
Foss told the BBC the novel is "loose in plot and characterisation", as it was his first full-length effort, having written many successful short stories previously.
Although the writer made references suggesting he was embarrassed of this early work, Ms Foss says he worked on it again later in life suggesting he must have seen something worthy in the concept.
The novel sees John Smith ruminate on topics including politics and religion and also features several conversations with his boarding house landlady, Mrs Rundle.
"She is a Mrs Hudson in the making," Ms Foss says, referring to Sherlock Holmes's landlady.
The novel was written while Conan Doyle was in his early 20s, just after he had moved to Southsea, near Portsmouth.
At 08:57:39 in HeadlinesSouth Yorkshire Police is to start an independent investigation into its handling of the Rotherham child abuse scandal.
At 08:53:44 in HealthThe brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry, suggests a study from the US.
At 08:43:59 in WalesThe superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection rate at Wales' biggest health board is still above average but has improved, new figures show.
At 08:38:18 in EnglandPeople who filmed an elderly woman as she "lay in agony" after being hit by a van have been reprimanded by police.
At 08:25:53 in ScotlandThey are hanging up their kettle after more than three decades. Scots children's entertainers The Singing Kettle are calling it a day after this year's Christmas tour.
At 08:23:39 in HeadlinesRussia is to alter its military doctrine as a result of the Ukraine crisis and Nato's presence in eastern Europe, a top Russian official says.
At 08:10:47 in WalesThe new leader of Swansea council's ruling Labour group is Rob Stewart - one of the men sacked by his predecessor in a cabinet reshuffle.
At 08:08:58 in WorldThe Burmese beauty queen who was stripped of her title last week is refusing to give back her crown to South Korean pageant organisers.
At 08:06:36 in EnglandTwo more men have been charged with murdering a teenager in a knife attack in Preston.
At 07:55:50 in EnglandA couple who took their son out of the hospital where he was being treated for a brain tumour and travelled to Spain have had their case put under "immediate review".
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. First Conan Doyle novel to be published [Online] (Updated 6th Jun 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/159792/First-Conan-Doyle-novel-to-be-published [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
The brain can be trained to prefer healthy food over unhealthy high-calorie foods, using a diet which does not leave people hungry, suggests a study from the US.
They are hanging up their kettle after more than three decades. Scots children's entertainers The Singing Kettle are calling it a day after this year's Christmas tour.
The government is desperate to get more young people interested in scientific subjects. Could a self-proclaimed "geek festival" held last weekend in Milton Keynes hold the answer?
Complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) have fallen after last year's record, but remain at historically high levels, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
People who filmed an elderly woman as she "lay in agony" after being hit by a van have been reprimanded by police.
Everything But The Girl musician Ben Watt has been announced as part of the 15-strong longlist for the Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction.