The Narrative of John Smith

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9780712358415: The Narrative of John Smith

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Narrative of John Smith in 1883 when he was just 23, living in Portsmouth and struggling to establish himself as a doctor and a writer. By that time he had succeeded in getting a number of short stories published in leading magazines of the day, such as Blackwood's, All the Year Round, London Society and the Boy's Own Paper. But, as was the accepted practice of literary journals of the time, his stories were published anonymously and Conan Doyle realised that to make his name as a writer he would have to write a novel. That novel, the first he ever wrote, and published here for the first time, is The Narrative of John Smith. More a string of ruminations than a novel, it is however of considerable biographical importance and has exceptional value as a window into the mind of the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Many of the themes and tropes of his later writing, including his first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet (published in 1887), can be clearly seen. Via the protagonist, John Smith, a 50-year-old man confined to his room by an attack of gout, Conan Doyle sets down his thoughts and opinions on a range of subjects - literature, science, religion, war, education - with no detectable shyness or diffidence, full of bravado in the face of little professional success at that time. Although it has little in the way of plot it stands as a fascinating record of an early attempt at writing by a man who was on his way to being one of the best-known authors in the world.

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Recensione:

Someone, I think it was the noted Janeite Lord David Cecil, once said that Jane Austen was the kind of writer on whose laundry lists and notes to the milkman any keen reader would pounce. While Conan Doyle may not be considered to be in quite that category there can be no doubt that the heart of every lover of British writing will rejoice at this discovery of an early and as yet unpublished work by the creator of Holmes, Watson, Moriarty and Professor Challenger. The breadth, depth and scope of Conan Doyle's knowledge and curiosity is often overlooked. He was the first popular writer to tell the wider reading public about narcotics, the Ku Klux Klan, the mafia, the Mormons, American crime gangs, corrupt union bosses and much else besides. His boundless energy, enthusiasm and wide-ranging mind, not to mention the pitch-perfect, muscular and memorable prose is all on display here in a work whose publication is very very welcome indeed. --Stephen Fry, May 2011

... Though less a narrative than a pile of meditations, this early piece crackles with the burning curiosity that Doyle brought to all his activities...... Two features of Doyle come across in this book: his modernity and his traditionalism...... The Narrative of John Smith merits publication not as an unfairly neglected novel but as an oddity that sheds fascinating light on the mind of its creator. Equipped with an informative introduction and notes, it raises one question not persuasively answered by the otherwise excellent editors. Why was the book not published when written? --David Grylls, Sunday Times, 18 September 2011

... Though less a narrative than a pile of meditations, this early piece crackles with the burning curiosity that Doyle brought to all his activities. Two features of Doyle come across in this book: his modernity and his traditionalism. The Narrative of John Smith merits publication not as an unfairly neglected novel but as an oddity that sheds fascinating light on the mind of its creator. Equipped with an informative introduction and notes, it raises one question not persuasively answered by the otherwise excellent editors. Why was the book not published when written? --David Grylls, Sunday Times, 18 September 2011

L'autore:

Best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle is one of the most popular of all English-language authors.

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Conan Doyle, Arthur
Editore: The British Library (2011)
ISBN 10: 0712358412 ISBN 13: 9780712358415
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Descrizione libro The British Library, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. 1st edition, 2011. New. Pictorial dustjacket. Maroon cloth gilt. 138 pages. Please note that we send overseas orders only via airmail, and charge accordingly. (Good news! Airmail to European destinations is cheaper than by sea). Codice libro della libreria ABE-15039161959

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Conan Doyle, Arthur
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Descrizione libro British Library, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110712358412

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Arthur Conan Doyle, Jon Lellenberg (Introduction)
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ISBN 10: 0712358412 ISBN 13: 9780712358415
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Descrizione libro British Library, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0712358412

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