Monday, December 17, 2007

prosaic hiatus

Arthur Conan Doyle to Mary Doyle

Morley's Hotel, London [1903]

I don't think you need have any fears about Sherlock. I am not conscious of any failing powers, and my work is not less conscientious than of old. I don't suppose any man has ever sacrificed so much money to preserve his ideal of art as I have done, witness my suppression of Girdlestone, my refusal to serialise "A Duet" and my refusal to republish in a book the "Round the Fire" series of stories. But I have done no short Sherlock Holmes Stories for seven or eight years, and I don't see why I should not have another go at them and earn three times as much money as I can by any other form of work. I have finished the first one--the plot by the way was given me by Jean*--and it is a rare good one. You will find that Holmes was never dead, and that he is now very much alive.
I have Touie** up to see her Doctor. I hope to have a good report from him this afternoon. This evening I will take her to the theatre. A little change brightens her up.
My health is wonderfully good. I have lost nine pounds in a fortnight and I am like an athlete in training. Yet I am not ascetic and I enjoy life. A few simple rules have revolutionised my health.

*Jean Leckie, friend and later second wife of Conan Doyle.

**His wife, Louisa Conan Doyle.

-from Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters (New York: Penguin Press, 2007) p. 512.

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