Talk:Arthur Conan Doyle

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Former good article Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the Language and literature good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
January 13, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
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Reflist[edit]

SCOTTISH?[edit]

Why is Doyle so regularly described as Scottish? While he may have been born in Scotland, his ancestry (Through both father and mother) was Irish. The logic seems simple to me ....if he had been born in, say, Paris would he be described as French? ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.13.81.144 (talk) 00:35, 19 July 2014 (UTC)

I would agree with this; especially as in the info box it says 'Ethnicity: Scottish', not nationality... It's a totally weird thing to want to write in the info box in the first place, I mean, Shakespeare's info box doesn't state his 'ethnicity'! But, hell if you were going to do it, it's pretty clear that 'ethnically' he is Irish, as both his mother and father are Irish Catholics! His nationality is British, as it states; Scotland doesn't have citizenship separate from the rest of the United Kingdom. He is, of course, a Scot, regardless of his ethnicity; born, raised and educated in Scotland--you just need to listen to a recording of his voice to hear his Edinburgh accent; but I think all that is implied, by saying in the introduction that he is Scottish, and of course by stating that he was born, raised and educated in Scotland... so I'm removing the weird Scottish ethnicity thing..... — Preceding unsigned comment added by InternationalistChap (talkcontribs) 23:05, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
Doyle self-identified as Irish. In his own words: "I, an Irishman by extraction, was born in the Scottish capital" from his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.127.185.130 (talk) 03:16, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Good Article status[edit]

Why it was removed from good article section? And which sections should be improved?---ChamithN (talk) 16:43, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

@ChamithN: I'm not sure, but it was in 2006. The best thing to do is to request a GA review I suppose. All the best: Rich Farmbrough16:35, 9 November 2014 (UTC).

Racism And Racial Superiority[edit]

I have read several of Doyle's short stories and some of his short novels. It might come to the surprise (or even shock) for some people, but as a matter of fact, Doyle has shown vivid racial bias against Negros and Asian races. In his short novel "The Poison Belt", he refers to the Asian races as a whole as "the lower races" and in one of his Sherlock Holmes short stories, a British woman comments about marrying a black-man in these words "I married him despite his ethnicity ..." (the exact words might be slightly different but the context is the same). I should read his works in some detail and obtain necessary quotes and then add another section in his article, highlighting his racial bias.

His racial bias becomes all the more vivid when one reads H. G. Wells and other British writers of the same era and finds no trace of such ugly implications there.

Asheekay (talk) 16:40, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

This was the case with many other writers such as Dennis Wheatley, Charles Dickens and even Enid Blyton. Attitudes to race and class in Britain were entirely different in times gone by, even as late as the 1960s. If you want to add something about this you will, however, need to find what critics of his work have said about it - your own original research is of no value to the article. Richerman (talk) 18:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I think you are right. While reading Wikipedia's policy about original research, I came across these statements:
The phrase ″original research″ (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material—such as facts, allegations, and ideas—for which no reliable, published sources exist. This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to reach or imply a conclusion not stated by the sources.
Thanks for referring to the link. Yes, I think I need to study the history and extent of racial bias expressed by English writers and then add the relevant section. Otherwise I would get the warning that I had posted misleading content which has been challenged and removed. Asheekay (talk)
Asheekay, I think that, in addition to potentially running afoul of WP:OR, you are also somewhat misinterpreting Conan Doyle's attitudes. In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Yellow Face", to which I presume you refer, he (or Holmes, at least) is quite sympathetic to the situation in which Effie Munro finds herself, and Effie's second husband turns out to be quite willing to accept the child that she has borne with her black husband. (I read the story as supporting racial tolerance, if anything.) There is also the matter of the George Edalji case, in which Conan Doyle fought, for no reason other than a sense of justice, to clear an "Asian" man that he believed had been incorrectly convicted of a crime. I haven't read The Poison Belt myself, but are you sure that ACD is there expressing his own opinion rather than putting the words into the mouth of a character or of a narrator whose judgment might be questionable? No doubt ACD had opinions that might not be considered "politically correct" by present-day standards (as did most of the "other British writers of the same era" whom you refer to; how many of them have you read in detail?), but I'd consider him an example of perhaps remarkable enlightenment with regard to racial matters for the time. 17:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Here are some of the excerpts from The Poison Belt. You can read them and determine if he (through the talk of a character in the novel, which is not rebuked or disagreed with, anywhere in the novel by any other character) is expressing racial superiority/inferiority or not. The two next paragraphs are copied from the novel.
There are laws at work in connection with the action and distribution of daturon which would have been of deep interest had the time at our disposal permitted us to study them. So far as I can trace them"—here he glanced over his telegrams—"the less developed races have been the first to respond to its influence. There are deplorable accounts from Africa, and the Australian aborigines appear to have been already exterminated. The Northern races have as yet shown greater resisting power than the Southern.
To take an obvious example, who would undertake to say that the mysterious and universal outbreak of illness, recorded in your columns this very morning as having broken out among the indigenous races of Sumatra, has no connection with some cosmic change to which they may respond more quickly than the more complex peoples of Europe?
I have not, and am not stating that ACD has expressed hatred or disgust for any race (which, btw he did, in one of Sherlock Holmes short stories about a Negro and another about some blowgun-wielding peoples of Southern Asia. I cannot precisely recall the titles of these short stories right now, however). What I am stating is that he has expressed racial bias and discrimination. If a person considers Black or Brown people mentally inferior to the Whites and expresses sympathy to them, he is of course not showing racial hatred, but he is definitely implying racial superiority/inferiority.
One does not have to express hatred against a race to be entitled racist. One can imply them to be somehow (especially wrt mental development) inferior than the other races and express sympathy with them. This definitely counts as racial bias, although not racial hatred. I hope you get my point.
Just because you have asked, I have read ACD and H. G. Wells in some detail (around 25 short stories of ACD and some 12 of Wells. 5 short novels by ACD and 4 by Wells) and several other English (English as a language, not as English people) writers, reading a collection of their short stories or a couple of novels at most. Several "Famous Five" novels of Enid Blyton (I cannot recall if there was any hint of racism in them, but it was a long time ago when I read them). Hardy Boys (forgot the writer name) series. A few by Charles Dickens (David Copperfield, Great Expectations and a couple others). King Solomon's Mines, Around The World In 80 Days, Journey To The Center Of The Earth (forgot the writer names). Well, it would make a long list if I start recalling and listing each of them. You get the idea.
There might be racial partiality in several English (people, not language) writers, but I have felt it coming most vividly in-your-face from the pen of ACD. Asheekay (talk) 12:46, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
In Victorian and Edwardian England it was not unusual for people to believe that the British were in some way superior to "foreigners" - that was the whole basis of the British Empire. Perhaps you should see Racism in the work of Charles Dickens and Enid Blyton#Racism, xenophobia and sexism. However, even if you do study the history and extent of racial bias expressed by English writers you still can't add your own unsupported opinions to the article. You need to find wp:reliable sources that discuss this point and compile a section using their views. Richerman (talk) 13:56, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Freemason[edit]

I note he appears in a Wikipedia list of Notable Freemasons, mentioned at foot of this page, but I see no reference to him being one in the body of the page. It would be more credible if published mention of him being a Mason could be given with citation and date. If he was a Mason, that would have showed a break with his childhood Catholicism.Cloptonson (talk) 07:00, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Clearly his interest in Spiritualism was a break with Catholicism and a simple google search on "Arthur Conan Doyle freemason" finds plenty of information such as this. Richerman (talk) 10:18, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I shall outline his times as a Freemason to make the article fit the category listing, cited to the source link you have used.Cloptonson (talk) 22:39, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Medical career[edit]

@Deor: Firstly, thanks for a clear and courteous explanation of your reason for reverting. My objective was to give a wp:rs view by modern experts from a different discipline which may have been overlooked by more knowledgeable main contributors -something I quite often try to do. In this case, it was half a sentence to show that his medical work could credibly be regarded as useful even today & no contemporary description could show this. I will further shorten the sentence as precise details are irrelevant and replace as per WP:BRD shortly. Feel free to reposition it or further discuss.
Regards JRPG (talk) 21:26, 24 May 2015 (UTC)