They were herded in at the base of the Abousir rock, this little group of modern types who had fallen into the rough clutch of the seventh century—for in all save the rifles in their hands there was nothing to distinguish these men from the desert warriors who first carried the crescent flag out of Arabia.
~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (wiki) The Tragedy of the Korosko (on a routine tourist excursion interrupted by an approaching group of Mahdists - the Isis of the late 19th century) 1898 illustrated version is available online here.
A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.*
Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid.
~ Doyle (Holmes, in The Sign of Four, Ch. 1)
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
~ Ibid,, Holmes in Ch. 6
"Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
"To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
"The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
~ Doyle (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, "Silver Blaze")
"Excellent," I cried. "Elementary," said he.**
~ Doyle (Ibid, "The Crooked Man")
Don't you find as you age in the wood, as we are both doing, that the tragedy of life is that your early heroes lose their glamour? ... Now with Doyle I don't have this feeling. I still revere his work as much as ever. I used to think it swell, and I still think it swell.
~ P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) (in Performing Flea,1953)
May 22nd is the anniversary of the birth in Edinburgh of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1939), creator of the world's greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. After receiving his degree at the University of Edinburgh, Doyle practiced medicine in Southsea but turned to writing as an avocation and produced a series of novels now largely forgotten. Beginning with The Sign of Four in 1889, however, his detective stories, featuring the enigmatic Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson, assured his lasting fame. Collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1891) and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1904), Doyle's mystery tales remain a cornerstone of the genre.
On Doyle's gravestone in Hampshire is engraved:
Arthur Conan Doyle
Patriot, Physician & Man of Letters
* Reminiscent of Dr. Samuel Johnson's remark:
"Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a subject ourselves, or we know where to find information upon it."
** This is the closest Doyle came in any of the Sherlock Holmes stories to "Elementary, my dear Watson," a classic misquotation.