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Inglenook Book Club May Meeting

Inglenook Book Club May Meeting

The Inglenook Book Club met in April at Lakeside Senior Living Center with Zia Locke and Sandi McMahen serving as hostesses. President Donna Ward called the meeting to order and thanked the hostesses. Members recited the Club Aim and Motto.

President Ward also extended congratulations to Shirley Martin who just retired after serving Bethel University as Registrar for 48 years.

After refreshments and the business meeting, Vice President Sally Sutton introduced our speaker, Zia Locke, whose subject was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of perhaps the first in a long line of literary detectives, Sherlock Holmes. Zia stated that reading about Sherlock Holmes was the beginning of her interest in mysteries and crime novels.

Arthur Ignatius Doyle was born in 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a prosperous Catholic family. His father was chronic alcoholic, a moderately successful artist, who—apart from having a brilliant son—never accomplished anything of note. The family had little money and even less harmony because of his father’s excesses and erratic behavior. Arthur recalls his mother telling vivid stories that “stood out so clearly that they obscured the real facts of life.”

On his ninth birthday, wealthy members of the Doyle family offered to pay for his studies, and he left home—in tears—for the next four years in a Jesuit boarding school. He hated the bigotry surrounding his studies and rebelled at the brutal corporal punishment which prevailed in most English schools of that period. He did enjoy sports and did well playing cricket.

After graduation at age 17 Doyle added “Conan” to his middle name and decided to follow a medical career instead of an artistic one, this decision was influenced by a Dr. Bryan Charles Waller, a paying lodger in the Doyle home. He began his studies at the University of Edinburgh where several other future authors attended: James Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. \One who most impressed and influenced him was a teacher, Dr. Joseph Bell, whom Doyle described as a “master at observation, logic, deduction and diagnosis,” the same qualities found in Sherlock Holmes.

During his studies, Doyle wrote two short stories which were published in London magazines. In his third year of medical studies at age 20, adventure appeared when Doyle was offered the position of ship’s surgeon on The Hope, a whaling boat leaving for the Arctic Circle. He returned to his studies and in 1881 received his Bachelor of Medicine and Mastery of Surgery degree.

Doyle spent the next years dividing his time between trying to be a good doctor and struggling to become a recognized author. In 1885 he married Louisa Hawkins, a sister of one of his patients, and with whom he had a daughter, Mary, and a son, Kingsley. In 1886 Doyle wrote A Study in Scarlet which catapulted him to fame. During this time he became better known in the United States than he was in England.

It was his first commissioned short novel, The Sign of Four, that was instrumental in establishing Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle once and for all in the annals of literature. The image of Sherlock Holmes was created by illustrator Sidney Paget, and it was his collaboration with Doyle for many decades that was instrumental in making the author and artist world famous.

Arthur Conan Doyle led an interesting and adventurous life while pursuing his writing career. He volunteered his services as a medical doctor in the Boer War; became involved in politics in Scotland and ran for office but was defeated; and was knighted by King Edward III in 1902 for “services rendered to the Crown” during the Boer War, just to name a few of his many accomplishments.

It should be noted that by1914 Doyle had become convinced for a long time of a coming war with Germany, and sent many articles to newspapers on Military Readiness predicting submarines, airships, and possible blockades by enemy submersibles long before the British Navy did. Doyle suggested the only solution was to build an English Channel tunnel, all warnings which naval experts judged “Jules Verne fantasies.”

In 1926 his last 12 stories about the exploits of his immortal detective Sherlock Holmes were compiled in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle died in 1930 at age 71 of a heart attack.

Genia Sherwood announced her dance recital will be held on May 20 at Bethel University auditorium. Carolyn Potts announced that the Evening with Carroll Arts will be held June 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Long Heights Baptist Church, where artworks will be on display, as well as entertainment provided.

The next meeting will be June 13 at Lakeside with hostesses Juanita Finley and Carolyn Goodwin. Donna Ward has the program.

Members present were: Victoria Ard, Peggy Chappell, Juanita Finley, Carolyn Goodwin, Suzanne Howell, Zia Locke, Shirley Martin, Jean McKinnie, Sandi Mc-Mahen, Carolyn Moore, Mary Newman, Carolyn Potts, Marilynn Putman, Shelia Rogers, Genia Sherwood, Cindy Summers, Sally Sutton, and Donna Ward.

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