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"Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Publication of His Arctic Journal & Related Stories

By Randall Stock, December 3, 2012

 

Arthur Conan Doyle's first great adventure is a real-life "whale of a tale."  At the age of 20, he set sail with the crew of the SS Hope on a six-month voyage to the Arctic to hunt seals and whales.  A facsimile of his daily journal from that voyage, plus related material, is now available.

 

Photo of hunters on arctic ice

Index

Book Details

History of the Manuscript

Book Review

 

About the Editors

Book Talk (online audio & podcasts)

Events

News & Press Reports

 

More about Conan Doyle archives

 

Book Details and Description

 

This facsimile edition reproduces Conan Doyle's handwritten narrative and drawings from his diary.  It also includes photographs, an annotated transcript, an introduction and essay by the editors, and four of Conan Doyle's fiction and non-fiction works based on his Arctic experiences.

 

"Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure by Arthur Conan Doyle

ed. by Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower

 

Cover of "Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure by Arthur Conan Doyle

First American Edition

Hardcover: 368 pages

200 color pages & 12 halftones

8.8 x 10 inches

 

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN-10: 022600905X

ISBN-13: 978-0226009056

Available: October 1, 2012

List Price: US$35.00 / CDN$34.95

 

Amazon US listing

     

 

First British Edition

Hardcover: 368 pages

200 color pages & 12 halftones

8.8 x 10 inches

 

Publisher: The British Library

ISBN-10: 0712358641

ISBN-13: 978-0712358644

Available: 26 September 2012

RRP: £25.00

 

Amazon UK listing

 

"While still a medical student, a very young Arthur shipped out for six months on an Arctic whaler, turning twenty-one just 600 miles from the North Pole. His diary of this 'dangerous work' makes irresistible reading, especially when annotated by two of the most knowledgeable Conan Doyle scholars alive.…  This is, in short, an important book for scholars, but also a tremendously exciting one for readers."

      — Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic and author of On Conan Doyle

 

My review below supplies additional information and an excerpt from the diary, but the book includes the following main elements:

 

Conan Doyle's 1880 Diary from the Hope

All of his handwritten journal pages, and all of his related drawings, are reproduced in a full-color facsimile.  The editors also provide an annotated transcript of the diary along with a map showing the route of the Hope.  See this Conan Doyle diary photo and another of a Conan Doyle drawing in color, and the History section below for how he became a ship's surgeon.

 

Introduction and an Essay by the Editors

The editors first set the context for Conan Doyle's voyage with an introduction that includes biographical background, details about whaling, and an extensive overview of his experience as reported in his autobiography, articles, and letters.  Their essay follows the annotated transcript and discusses how Conan Doyle used his experiences in later writings and in his December 1883 lecture about "The Arctic Seas."

 

Related Conan Doyle Fiction and Non-Fiction

"The Captain of the Pole-Star" (supernatural fiction)

"The Adventure of Black Peter" (Sherlock Holmes story)

"The Glamour of the Arctic" (report on the Arctic)

"Life on a Greenland Whaler" (personal account of his Arctic voyage)

 

 

Cover of "Dangerous Work" Limited EditionLimited Edition of "Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure

The publishers also produced a limited and numbered collector's edition.  It includes a slipcase and a different cover (shown here) that reproduces Conan Doyle's notebook cover and label.

 

ISBN-10: 0712358846

ISBN-13: 978-0712358842

 

UK: 100 copies at £150 (The British Library) or at Amazon UK

 

US: 50 copies at $250 (University of Chicago Press)

 


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History of the Manuscript: Conan Doyle's Diary of an Arctic Adventure

 

While just a young medical student, Conan Doyle embarked on a great adventure that took him to the Arctic Ocean.  It gave him new-found confidence, maturity, and perspective that changed his life forever.  Yet it came about almost by accident, as he related some 17 years later in the following magazine article. 

 

Life on a Greenland Whaler by A. Conan Doyle

The Strand Magazine, Volume 13, January 1897, pp. 16-25.

Photo Conan Doyle ship's surgeon... it was in the Hope, under the command of the well-known whaler, John Gray, that I paid a seven months' visit to the Arctic Seas in the year 1880.  I went in the capacity of surgeon, but as I was only twenty years of age when I started, and as my knowledge of medicine was that of an average third year's student, I have often thought that it was as well that there was no very serious call upon my services.

 

It came about in this way.  One raw afternoon in Edinburgh, whilst I was sitting reading hard for one of those examinations which blight the life of a medical student, there entered to me a fellow-student with whom I had some slight acquaintance.  The monstrous question which he asked drove all thought of my studies out of my head.

 

"Would you care," said he, "to start next week for a whaling cruise?  You'll be surgeon, two pound ten a month and three shillings a ton oil money."

 

"How do you know I'll get the berth?" was my natural question.

 

"Because I have it myself.  I find at this last moment that I can't go, and I want to get a man to take my place."

 

"How about an Arctic kit?"

 

"You can have mine."

 

In an instant the thing was settled, and within a few minutes the current of my life had been deflected into a new channel.


And so began Conan Doyle's arctic adventures.  He kept a daily journal of his voyage on the Hope, and retained this diary until his death.  Passed on through his heirs, the journal still exists and was offered as Lot #5 in Christie's 19 May 2004 sale

 

According to their catalogue, the journal consists of more than 150 pages in two notebooks bound in marbled boards.  Conan Doyle drew many illustrations to accompany his writing, as shown in this photo of the diary manuscript.  The diary went unsold at auction, and as of August 2012 was still the property of the heirs of Anna Conan Doyle, as reported for Lot #5 on the Census of The Conan Doyle Collection.

 

This voyage served as source material and inspiration for a number of stories and non-fiction articles.  Some of these include:

 

"That Little Square Box" in London Society, Christmas number 1881, pp. 52-64

"The Captain of the Pole-Star" in Temple Bar, January 1883, pp. 33-52

"The Arctic Seas" Lecture to the Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society, December 4, 1883

"J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" in Cornhill Magazine, January 1884, pp. 1-32

"The Glamour of the Arctic" in The Idler, July 1892, pp. 624-638.

"Life on a Greenland Whaler" in The Strand Magazine, January 1897, pp. 16-25

"The Adventure of Black Peter" in The Strand Magazine, February 1904, pp. 243-255.

Chapter IV: Whaling in the Arctic Ocean in Memories and Adventures (1924)

 

His 1883 short story "The Captain of the Pole-Star," set on a whaler blocked into the ice, comes directly from this voyage, albeit with an added touch of the supernatural.  The realistic descriptions of scenery and life aboard a whaling ship bear the unmistakable signs of direct experience.  Stories such as "That Little Square Box," "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement," and "The Adventure of Black Peter" have less direct ties to his time on the Hope but certainly benefit from background knowledge gained on board.

 

Conan Doyle mined his experiences several times for non-fiction material.  In December 1883 he gave a lecture on "The Arctic Seas" to the Portsmouth Literary and Scientific Society.  Although that paper does not appear to still exist, several contemporary newspaper reports provide considerable detail.

 

His 1892 article "The Glamour of the Arctic" contained a general report on whaling and the polar region.  Conan Doyle also repeated a proposal from some whaling captains on how to reach the North Pole.  However, that goal was not achieved until at least 1909, when Robert Peary claimed to have reached the Pole, and many doubt his credibility.  It took the invention of the airplane and many more years to reach the Pole in 1926.

 

Conan Doyle used some of the same anecdotes and descriptions in his 1897 "Life on a Greenland Whaler."  Unlike his 1892 report, he personalized this version into a first-person memoir that's stronger and more interesting. 

 

Finally, he tells of the experience once again in his 1924 autobiography Memories and Adventures, taking large portions of text directly from his prior articles.  In it, he sums up his experience by saying "I went on board the whaler a big, straggling youth, I came off it a powerful, well-grown man." 

 

A Note on His Accounts:

Conan Doyle frequently described his journey as taking seven months.  In reality, he left in February 1880 and returned in August 1880, a period of about six months.  He never was very good with dates and numbers, or at least he didn't pay that much attention to them.

 

Citations for the stories and articles above indicate the first British appearance of the material.  The same items appeared in American magazines, often with some textual differences.  For example, McClure's Magazine printed "Life on a Greenland Whaler" in its March 1897 issue, but cut or edited about 10 sentences at the end of the article.

 

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Review of "Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure

 

Conan Doyle's Diary Reveals Arctic History and Creative Process

by Randall Stock, October 19, 2012

 

"I fell into the Arctic Ocean three times today, but luckily someone was always near to pull me out."  Before Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his Sherlock Holmes stories, he was a 20-year-old ship's surgeon on the whaling vessel Hope.  It was his first great adventure, and his daily journal provides a personal view of whaling in the Arctic and of his own development as a man.

 

Now published for the first time, this collection includes both a full-color facsimile of the entire diary and a transcription with extensive annotation by Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower.  The editors also provide an excellent introduction, an essay on how Conan Doyle used this experience in later writings, and a selection of four of the author's related articles and stories.

 

Nearly 30 years after the publication of Moby Dick, the journal offers a first-hand look at whaling and sealing in 1880, without the editing and censorship of traditional published reports.  Conan Doyle's entries provide a matter-of-fact record of events and observations.  These are enlivened by his numerous drawings, many of them with watercolor highlights.

 

With his remarkably clear handwriting, it's easy to read his journal directly from the 200 pages of high-quality 8 x 6.5 inch color images.  Photos on facing pages are printed flush to each other with no inner margin, making it look just like part of his original notebook.  Where a folded drawing was pasted into the journal, the pages are reproduced twice in order to show all the handwritten text and then the full unfolded drawing.

 

Such attention to detail makes this an exceptional item both for historians and for Conan Doyle collectors.  Having personally examined many of his original manuscripts, reading this facsimile was just like handling the real thing.

 

Making this even better, the editors also provide a transcript of the diary with 185 footnotes.  These notes supply details on people, clarify obscure phrases and references, provide background on the whaling industry, and discuss links to the author's later writings.  While my aging eyes would have welcomed a slightly larger font for these notes, they certainly enhanced my understanding of the diary entries.

 

The journal offers an uncensored biographical source about Conan Doyle just as he is coming of age.  He wrote about this experience several times, so the core facts will not be new to Doylean scholars.  But just like with his letters to his mother, we learn more about the details of his daily life and get a better understanding of him as a person.

 

Hunting whales and sales was exciting and, as Conan Doyle wrote, "dangerous work," but he also recognized the bloody reality of the industry. Despite providing jobs and needed resources, he would later write that "amid all the excitement — and no one who has not held an oar in such a scene can tell how exciting it is — one's sympathies lie with the poor hunted creature."

 

Writers are often asked where they get the ideas for their stories.  With Conan Doyle's journal, we see the author's contemporary handwritten record of experiences that he would later write about in a number of formats and versions.  Four of those stories and articles are reprinted in the book, making it easy to compare his original thoughts to his later writings.  Not surprisingly, some details get embellished along the way, including stretching a not-quite six-month voyage into seven months in his reminiscences.  It's a unique and fascinating opportunity to study the creative process and see how an author can write about the same events in various ways.

 

The facsimile reproduction alone should make this a must-buy for Sherlockian fans and collectors, but  this volume has a much wider appeal.  History buffs and adventurers will enjoy this real-life record of Arctic whaling in the 1880s, while anyone interested in writers and writing will get a behind-the-scenes look at translating experience into prose.  Beautifully produced, in a large format with extras including photos and a map, it would also make a fine gift.

 

The News & Press Reports section has links to other reviews, which are marked with an asterisk.

 

An Excerpt From the Diary:

June 26, 1880.

Nothing had been seen all day and I had gone down to the cabin about 10 o'clock when I heard a sort of bustle on deck.  Then I heard the Captain's voice from the masthead "Lower away the two waist boats!"  I rushed into the mates' berth and gave the alarm, Colin was dressed but the second mate rushed on deck in his shirt with his trousers in his hand.  When I got my head above the hatchway the very first thing I saw was the whale shooting its head out of the water and gamboling about at the other side of a large 'sconce' piece of ice.  It was a beautiful night, with hardly a ripple on the deep green water.  In jumped the crews into their boats, and the officers of the watch looked that their guns were primed and ready, then they pushed off and the two long whale boats went crawling away on their wooden legs one to one side of the bit of ice, the other to the other.

 

Carner had hardly got up to the ice when the whale came up again about forty yards in front of the boat, throwing almost its whole body out of the water, and making the foam fly.  There was a chorus of "Now, Adam —  Now's your chance!" from the line of eager watchers on the vessel's side.  But Adam Carner, a grizzled and weatherbeaten harpooner knows better.  The whale's small eye is turned towards him and the boat lies as motionless as the ice behind it.  But now it has shifted, its tail is towards them — "Pull, boys, pull!"  Out shoots the boat from the ice — will the fish dive before he can get up to it?  That is the question in every mind.  He is nearing it, and it still lies motionless — nearer yet and nearer.  Now he is standing up to his gun and has dropped his oar — "Three strokes, boys!" he says as he turns his quid in his cheek, and then there is a bang and a foaming of waters and a shouting, and then up goes the little red flag in Carner's boat and the whale line runs out merrily…

 

Used with permission of the Conan Doyle Estate, Ltd.

 

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About the Editors

 

Jon Lellenberg, U.S. agent for the family's Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., has written about Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes for more than 30 years.  He co-edited the award-winning BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters as well as Conan Doyle's previously unpublished first novel The Narrative of John Smith.  Lellenberg's novel Baker Street Irregular was published in November 2010.  Some of his other books include The Quest for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (a study of how his life has been treated biographically), Nova 57 Minor (the story behind the supposed Sixty-First Adventure of Sherlock Holmes), and eight volumes of The Baker Street Irregulars History series (including Mid-Forties, Late Forties).

 

Daniel Stashower is a two-time Edgar Award-winning author who wrote Teller of Tales, a widely praised biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and co-edited Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters and The Narrative of John Smith.  Some of his other recent books include The Beautiful Cigar Girl and The Boy Genius and the Mogul: The Untold Story of Television

 

You can listen to online audio interviews with the editors via links below in the Book Talk section.

 

For information on personal appearances by the editors, see the Events section.

 

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Book Talk Audio Online

 

Podcasts and streaming audio let you listen to reports and interviews with the editors.

 

 

Co-editor Jon Lellenberg on Radio New Zealand

RNZ's Afternoons with Jim Mora, November 12, 2012  (23 minutes)

An excellent interview about Conan Doyle, his Arctic Diary, and "Dangerous Work"

 

Right-click the following link and choose "Save As" to download the RNZ interview in MP3 format (File size: 8 MB).

See their program summary page for online streaming options

 

 

Co-editor Jon Lellenberg on WGN Radio

WGN's Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, October 28, 2012  (2 hours elapsed; 1.5 hour podcast)

Interview and calls on wide range of Conan Doyle topics including his arctic diary and also Sherlock Holmes

 

Right-click the following link and choose "Save As" to download the WGN interview in MP3 format (File size: 41 MB).

Streaming audio version (same audio, 1.5 hours, very slow to start loading)

 

Home page for WGN's Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg

 

 

Co-editor Jon Lellenberg on National Public Radio

NPR Morning Edition, October 25, 2012  (7.5 minutes)

Steve Inskeep interviews Lellenberg about the book & Scottish mystery writer Alexander McCall Smith reads two passages

Read the transcript of the NPR interview with Lellenberg, or listen to it from the links below

 

Right-click the following link and choose "Save As" to download the interview in MP3 format (File size: 4 MB).

Streaming audio version (same audio, 7.5 minutes)

 

Read excerpts from Conan Doyle's diary posted at NPR

 

NPR Summary page, with links to all the above items

http://www.npr.org/2012/10/25/163392051/from-ship-to-sherlock-doyles-arctic-diary

 

 

Co-editors Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower on the "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere" Podcast

Jon and Dan are interviewed by Scott Monty and Burt Wolder in this 23 November 2011 podcast.

It's part of an excellent series from Scott and Burt on "I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere."

At the end of this interview (approx. 45-minute mark), Jon and Dan discuss the upcoming facsimile of Doyle's whaling diary.

 

Right-click the following link and choose "Save As" to download the interview in MP3 format (File size: 51.9 MB).

 

For some of the other topics covered in the interview, see the episode page at:

http://www.ihearofsherlock.com/2011/11/episode-37-lost-conan-doyle-manuscript.html

 

 

Conan Doyle speaks about creating Sherlock Holmes

The British Library Sound Archive has an 8-minute recording of Conan Doyle, and provides a streaming online 2-minute excerpt of this actual recording of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle speaking about Sherlock Holmes.  If this link does not work for you, try searching for "NP3794" in the BL Sound Catalogue, and then click the Details button for his Sherlock Holmes talk.  That catalogue detail page gives links to Electronic Access to listen to the recording.

 

For online audio with Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower about Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters, see the Life in Letters Book Talk Audio section.

 

For online audio with Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower about The Narrative of John Smith, see the Narrative of John Smith Book Talk Audio section.

 

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Events and Author Appearances

 

Listed in order by date:

 

April 30, 2012: Jon Lellenberg at the University of Minnesota

The Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Annual Meeting

Jon was the guest speaker and discussed Dangerous Work

 

September 14, 2012: Daniel Stashower at the National Press Club in Washington, DC

The Red Circle of Washington, DC  Stashower Talk

Dan will talk about Dangerous Work and his upcoming book about Allan Pinkerton

 

September 29, 2012 : Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower at The Newberry Library in Chicago

Part of The Newberry Library Arthur Conan Doyle / Sherlock Holmes Symposium

Presentation and book-signing by the editors

 

September 29, 2012 (2 pm): Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower at a Chicago bookstore

Discussion and book-signing by the editors at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore

 

October 11, 2012 (7 pm): Jon Lellenberg at the Toronto Public Library

Sponsored by Toronto's Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Jon will speak about the book

No registration required.  Admission is Free.

 

October 25, 2012: Jon Lellenberg on National Public Radio

The Morning Edition on NPR generally runs between 5am-8am, but check their website.

Excerpts from the diary will be read by Scottish mystery writer Alexander McCall Smith

Full details including podcast, transcript & more from NPR Interview with Jon Lellenberg in the audio section above

 

October 26, 2012: Co-editors at The Sons of the Copper Beeches Dinner in Philadelphia

Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower will speak about the book.

 

October 28, 2012 (10pm): Jon Lellenberg on WGN Radio

Jon will be on WGN's Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg from 10pm-midnight

For the podcast and MP3 download, see the WGN Interview with Jon Lellenberg  in the audio section above

 

November 11, 2012 (US): Jon Lellenberg on Radio New Zealand

For the streaming audio and MP3 download, see Lellenberg's Radio New Zealand interview in the audio section above

 

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News and Press Reports

 

Reviews are preceded by an asterisk (*), and my review is given above.  Unless noted, online reports were available free to the public when originally posted.  Some websites may remove online articles or charge for accessing older items.  See also Book Talk for online audio interviews about the book and the Events section for related information.

 

I try to list every appearance with unique information or photos.  Websites that simply duplicate other online news stories, or that contain minimal original reporting, may not be listed.  Word counts are approximate and reflect online content; printed stories sometimes vary from their online version.

 

* Publishers Weekly, December 3, 2012  (177 words)

Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

Admires Doyle's "gifts for writing and observation" and calls it "fascinating reading"

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-226-00905-6

 

* The New York Times, November 30, 2012, [NYT 12//2/12 Sunday Book Review p. BR34]  (650 words)

Before Sherlock by Bill Streever

Calls it a book to treasure, praises its "elegance and style", and says it should be "shared with friends"

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/02/books/review/dangerous-work-arthur-conan-doyles-arctic-diary.html

 

* Svenska Dagbladet, November 18, 2012  (In Swedish; 1,900 words)

Dangerous journey preparing authorship

Swedish review of the book

http://www.svd.se/kultur/understrecket/farlig-fard-forberedde-forfattarskap_7676086.svd

 

Radio New Zealand, November 12, 2012  (audio)

Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

Interview with Jon Lellenberg  on RNZ's Afternoons with Jim Mora

For the streaming audio and MP3 download, see Lellenberg's Radio New Zealand interview in the audio section above

 

The Times (London), November 10, 2012, p. 34  (640 words)

Whaling adventures almost did for Sherlock Holmes by Jean West

Describes the book and Conan Doyle's experiences; quotes Lellenberg, Stashower, and Michael Gunton

[online by subscription only]

 

WGN Radio, October 28, 2012, 10pm-midnight  (audio)

The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle

Interview with Jon Lellenberg  on WGN's Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg

For the podcast and MP3 download, see the WGN Interview with Jon Lellenberg  in the audio section above

 

National Public Radio, October 25, 2012  (760 words plus audio & transcript)

From Ship To Sherlock: Doyle's 'Arctic' Diary by NPR Staff

Includes a photo of ACD, a color drawing from July 29, 1880 and a diary page with drawing for April 13, 1880

Full details including podcast, transcript & more from NPR Interview with Jon Lellenberg in the audio section above

 

* Canadian Holmes, Vol. 35 #1 (Fall 2012), pp. 5-7  (820 words)

The Affair of the Resurrected Story by Peter Calamai

Calamai praises the vivid picture of a declining whaling industry and Doyle's emergence as a man

[print only; not available online]

 

Hand Made Maps

The Route of the Hope Through the Arctic

Reproduces the map from the book; mouse-over it to see a magnified view.

http://handmademaps.com/image/dangerous-work-sir-arthur-conan-doyle-diary-the-british-library/

 

* The Scotsman, October 20, 2012  (1,150 words)

Book review: Dangerous Work: Diary Of An Arctic Adventure by Arthur Conan Doyle by Roger Cox

Cox says Doyle "received his liberal arts education at sea," and praises the "beautiful edition" and some of Doyle's drawings.

Includes medium-sized photo of diary pages for March 19-20

The Scotsman review of Dangerous Work

 

* The Boston Globe, October 20, 2012  (105 words)

Capsule book review: ‘Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure’ by Arthur Conan Doyle by Jan Gardner

Gardner says "there is something thrilling about reading" the diary in Doyle's own handwriting.

Includes large photo of diary pages for April 16-18, 1880

The Boston Globe review of Dangerous Work

 

* The New Republic, October 18, 2012  (1,670 words)

One Whale Too Many: Arthur Conan Doyle's Arctic Adventure by Laura Marsh

Marsh provides an in-depth and very well-informed review, including the diary's relationship to later writings.

http://www.tnr.com/book/review/one-whale-too-many-arthur-conan-doyle%E2%80%99s-arctic-adventure

 

The New Yorker, October 1, 2012  (80 words)

Books To Watch Out For: October

This New Yorker column mentions "Dangerous Work" at the top of its October list.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/10/books-to-watch-out-for-october.html

 

* Scientific American, October 2012  (100 words)

Recommended: "Dangerous Work": Diary of an Arctic Adventure by Anna Kuchment

The book earns a "Recommended" rating in the October issue of Scientific American.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=recommended-dangerous-work-diary-arctic-adventure

 

The New York Daily News, October 1, 2012  (290 words)

Arthur Conan Doyle's diary contains sketches, notes of Arctic adventure by Jenny Che

A brief description of the book, with a medium-sized photo of diary pages for March 17-18

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/10/arthur-conan-doyles-diary-contains-sketches-notes-of-arctic-adventure

 

* The Sunday Telegraph (London), September 30, 2012, p. 27.  (530 words)

Philip Hoare delights in a gruesomely entertaining journal of an Arctic whaling voyage by Philip Hoare

Hoare calls it "gruesomely entertaining" and a "fascinating historical document."

However, the reviewer is mistaken about Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, who were not cousins.

Posted online on October 3, 2012 as "Dangerous Work by Arthur Conan Doyle: review" at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/biographyandmemoirreviews/9573784/Dangerous-Work-by-Arthur-Conan-Doyle-review.html

 

Smithsonian Magazine Blogs, September 27, 2012  (220 words)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Went on His Own Adventures—to the Arctic by Mary Beth Griggs

Brief description of book, noting "really lovely" sketches as well as the "blood and gore" of sealing

Includes medium-sized photo of diary pages for March 19-20

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/09/sir-arthur-conan-doyle-went-on-his-own-adventures-to-the-arctic/

 

The Franklin Park Herald Journal, September 26, 2012  (488 words)

Conan Doyle on the high seas by Robert Loerzel

Original reporting about the Conan Doyle estate, Sherlock Holmes, and the arctic diary.

Under Article Extras, the View Gallery shows 2 medium-sized photos of ACD and diary pages for April 16-18

http://franklinpark.suntimes.com/entertainment/15251247-421/conan-doyle-on-the-high-seas.html

Reposted:

http://oakpark.suntimes.com/entertainment/15251247-421/conan-doyle-on-the-high-seas.html

 

The Main Point blog, September 24, 2012  (600 words)

Arthur Conan Doyle in the Arctic... and Sherlock Holmes at the Beginning by James Scott Linville

Quotes key passages which highlight a connection to A Study in Scarlet

http://themainpoint.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/arthur-conan-doyle-in-arctic-and.html

 

The Huffington Post, September 23, 2012  (170 words)

Sherlock, The Prequel by Claire Fallon

Very brief description but with an excellent set of five photos from the book (in the full-screen slideshow)

Includes March 17-18, March 19-20, April 16-18, May 7-8, June 22-24

See especially the Hope diary March 19-20 with color drawing and Hope diary June 22-24 with color drawing

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/05/sherlock-the-prequel_n_1859885.html

 

* The Daily Mail (London) September 15, 2012, p.48.  (2,330 words)

Conan Doyle the seal clubber by Philip Hoare

This excellent, wide-ranging review says the book "sheds an entirely new light on a writer we thought we knew  so well"

Includes 3 photos of ACD and a medium-sized diary photo from July 29-30, 1880

The Daily Mail article on Dangerous Work

 

* The District Messenger, no. 325, September 13, 2012, p1.  (218 words)

[The most important of the many books recently sent me...] by Roger Johnson

Johnson calls it a "magnificent production" and says "I really can't recommend 'Dangerous Work' too highly."

http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/district.php

 

Time Newsfeed, August 8, 2012  (330 words)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Youthful Arctic Adventure Journal to be Published by Vanessa Ko

Short report on the BL announcement, refers to the Guardian article below

http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/10/sir-arthur-conan-doyles-youthful-arctic-adventure-journal-to-be-published/

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine, August 8, 2012, p. 32  (580 words)

Der seltsame Fall des Manuskripts von Conan Doyle

[The Curious Case of the Conan Doyle manuscript]

Article in German; full version not found online, but snippet in archive at:

http://www.seiten.faz-archiv.de/faz/20120808/fd1201208083586934.html

 

* The Guardian, August 6, 2012, p. 12  (570 words)

Arthur Conan Doyle and the mystery of the medical student's Arctic adventure by Maev Kennedy

Calls it a "rip-roaring account of his adventures as ship's doctor" and quotes several passages

Includes a medium-sized diary photo from April 16-18, 1880

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/06/arthurconandoyle-arctic

 

British Library Press Release, August 6, 2012  (400 words)

Dangerous Work...British Library to publish Arthur Conan Doyle’s previously unseen Arctic diary

Announces 26 September 2012 publication of the "full colour facsimile of this remarkable diary"

Includes high-resolution photos of diary pages for March 17-18, March 19-20, April 16-18, and May 7-8

http://pressandpolicy.bl.uk/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=1473&NewsAreaId=2

Reposted at:

http://www.finebooksmagazine.com/press/2012/09/the-british-library-publishes-arthur-conan-doyles-sea-diary.phtml

 

The Mail on Sunday [The Daily Mail London] August 5, 2012, p.50.  (460 words)

Fascinating case of Holmes and the Arctic adventure by Valerie Elliott

A basic report on the upcoming book, with large photo of Conan Doyle's drawing from July 28, 1880

[This article mistakenly says the manuscript is held by the British Library—it still belongs to the heirs of Anna Conan Doyle]

The Mail on Sunday article online

 

The Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections Newsletter, June 2012, v.10 n.2, pp. 1,6

Annual Meeting and Featured Speaker Mr. Jon Lellenberg by Gary Thaden

Report on Lellenberg's talk about the book and an upcoming exhibit of Conan Doyle material

http://www.lib.umn.edu/scrbm/holmes/friends-newsletters

[not yet available online]

 

University of Chicago Press Fall 2012 Books Catalog, p. 7.  (480 words)

General Interest Fall 2012: Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

Includes dust-jacket photo (as above) and book details (as repeated on Amazon)

http://press.uchicago.edu/dms/ucp/books/pdf/seasonal-catalogs/Fall2012_UChicagoPress.pdf  (17 MB PDF)

 

The Best of Sherlock Holmes Website

The Lost Papers of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Christie's 2004 Sale Information

Details about the 2004 sale and links to many news reports

http://www.bestofsherlock.com/ref/200405christies.htm

 

The Conan Doyle Collection (Christie's London catalogue sale # 6972, 19 May 2004)

Lot 5: The Log of The Hope

Included his journal in two notebooks, several letters and a photograph

Unsold.  [Christie's catalogue entry not available online as of January 2012.]

 

Christie's Press Release, March 2004  (1,200 words)

Lost Archive of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to be Offered at Christie's in May

Provides background on the sale of papers, including a sentence mentioning "his log books from the SS Hope"

http://www.bestofsherlock.com/ref/200405christies.htm#pressrelease

 

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More About Conan Doyle Archives and Related Pages

 

Arctic Diary Manuscript Description and Photo

 

Sale of the Conan Doyle Archives at Christie's in 2004 (includes references to his "log")

 

Census of the Conan Doyle Archives / Collection (see Lot 5)

 

Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters

 

 

More about Conan Doyle Manuscripts

 

Other Sherlockian rarities: Beeton's Christmas Annual 1887 and Sidney Paget original drawings

 

Lists of each year's best Sherlock Holmes books & DVDs, the best Sherlock Holmes stories, and more Top 10 Lists.

 

 

Return to Manuscripts Home page and Introduction

 


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Copyright © 2012 Randall Stock.  All Rights Reserved.