Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creator of Sherlock Holmes, like the rest of us, sometimes suffered from writers block, those days when creativity has stalled. Writing is hard work and clearly illustrates even our most famous writers had to practice their craft.
The National Library of Scotland tells the story of manuscripts found, locked away upon Conan Doyle’s death in 1930. Sir Arthur’s publisher John Murray might, at first, have thought he had found some unpublished treasure. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The papers were the efforts the great writer decided, for lack of inspiration, to set aside for review and editing later on. Most have us have struggled with something and put it aside and revisit later.
The story of the discovery is told in papers donated to the National Library of Scotland’s prestigious John Murray archive along with a cover note explaining that upon reading they were found to be “not very good and not used as the quality was too poor.”
One of the stories was The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange written when Conan Doyle was 18 years old and a medical student in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was submitted unsuccessfully to an Edinburgh magazine. The story contains characters similar to Holmes and Watson which illustrates the fact that he was experimenting with these ideas when he was starting out.
The work came to light when it was found in the Blackwood Publisher collection donated to the National Library of Scotland in 1942 and has since been published. Another story, The Memoir of Sherlock Holmes—The Field Bazaar was published in a charity magazine in 1896, but never since. Most of the others are unknown to the reading public.
To find more information click on National Library of Scotland.