Elementary My Dear

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes is a very enjoyable novel for anyone who loves mysteries and is a fan of Sherlock Holmes.  This story centers on the relationship between Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji.  They met under unusual circumstances after Edalji, a solicitor, was wrongfully accused and imprisoned for of writing mysterious letters and mutilating local livestock in England.  Doyle took a personal interest in the case and provided Edalji with the invaluable assistance needed to clear his name and reputation after being jailed for three years for crimes for which he was innocent.

I have read some of Doyle’s books about the great detective he created, but this story is even more compelling based on its basis in truth.  I also found the novel enlightening with regard to Doyle’s personal life and his deep belief in Spiritualism.  I learned a great deal and found the book well-written and engaging.

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About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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3 Responses to Elementary My Dear

  1. The novel certainly is ‘based’ on truth, but the general reader cannot know how close it is to the historical record. There are deliberate departures from ‘the truth’ as well as inaccuracies and distortions which were probably not deliberate. See my critique of ‘Arthur and George’ in Roger Oldfield, ‘Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes’, Vanguard Press, 2010.

  2. dianeledet says:

    Thank you Roger for your informative comment. I will look forward to reading your book!

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