Say it ain't so! AC Doyle a murderer??

Check this out:

can anyone here believe that Arthur Conan Doyle stole a plot for a book from his friend and then had said friend killed to cover it up?? I don’t buy it for a second…

Cripes, they drag up anything nowadays, won’t they, no matter how implausible.

I could accept that the legend of the hound might have been suggested to Doyle, or that {b]some{/b] legend about a hound was suggested to Doyle. He certainly drew inspiration from many diverse sources. But the contemporary plot (Holmes, Watson, Dr Mortimer, et al) is certainly consistent with Doyle’s other imaginings.

did anyone else notice this?

“Garrick-Steel says Conan Doyle visited Robinson’s home on the edge of Dartmoor, the setting for the Hound of the Baskervilles, in 1990, where his host regaled him with Dartmoor’s legends, including the tale of the ghostly hound.”

and i thought conan doyle died more than 10 years ago…

If he were trying to cover up his plagiarism, wouldn’t it make more sense to kill Robinson before publishing The Hound? Why did he wait 5 years?

Interesting questions posed, but as I was contemplating the details while scraping on a violin, I arrived at a more plausible explanation. I should think it more likely that Robinson was done in by an unwisely administered dose, perhaps self-administered, perhaps mistakenly by his wife, and Doyle worked loyally and diligently to protect the reputation of his deceased friend.

Now then, where did I put my seven percent solution?

… and I thought this was about The French Connection …

Well, he is what he is…

Let’s put this one to bed. This quote is taken from THE ANNOTATED SHERLOCK HOLMES, by Wm Baring-Gould (1967), who cites from Doyle’s autobiography:

In March of 1901, Conan Doyle and his friend Fletcher Robinson were on a golfing holiday at the Royal Links Hotel in Norfolk. “One raw Sunday afternoon when a wind rushed off the North Sea,” while lounging in the comfort of their private sitting room, Robinson began telling legends of Dartmoor, one of which concerned a spectral hound. By the end of the month, Doyle was at work on the story, which, at first, he had no intention of making an adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Then he thought to himself, “Why should I invent a character when I had him already in the form of Holmes.”

Doyle suggested that Robinson collaborate with him on the novel; although Robinson refused the offer, Conan Doyle acknowledged his debt by dedicating the novel to him. The dedication appears in three forms:

  • In the Strand:
    This story owes its inception to my friend, Mr. Fletcher Robinson, who has helped me both in the general plot and in the local details. – ACD

  • In the first book edition, published in 1902, the dedication reads:
    My dear Robinson:
    It was to your account of a West-Country legend that this tale owes its inception. For this and for your help in detail all thanks, Yours most truly, A. Conan Doyle

  • In th first American edition, also in 1902, the dedication reads:
    My dear Robinson:
    It was your account of a west country legend which first suggested the idea of this little tale to my mind. For this,a nd for the help which you have given me in its evolution, all thanks. Yours most truly, A. Conan Doyle

The confusion was clarified by Sir Arthur in his Preface to The Complete Sherlock Holmes, where he wrote:

“Then came the Hound of the Baskervilles. It arose from a remark by that fine fellow whose premature death was a loss to the world, Fletcher Robinson, that there was a spectral dog near his home on Dartmoor. That remark was the inception of the book, but I should add that the plot and every word of the actual narrative was my own.”

OK, now in the article accusing Doyle of murdering Robinson, the guy << claims Conan Doyle stole the plot for his most celebrated detective novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, from Fletcher Robinson. >>

Well… I dunno. It seems to me that:

(1) If Doyle stole Robinson’s plot and murdered him for it, the last thing he would do is acknowlege Robinson’s contribution so openly and publicly. The fact that the story was dedicated to Robinson and acknowledges the spectral hound came from Robinson, seems to me to acquit Doyle. If he stole the whole story, last thing he would do is call public attention to having been inspired by a part of it.

(2)Robinson died AFTER Hound was published, and had plenty of time to object if Doyle had “stolen” his ideas.

Seems pretty clear to me that Robinson suggested the hound legend, which Doyle used as the basis of creating a story. No more, no less. On the “mysterious” circumstances surrounding Robinson’s death, I have no clue, but the whole thing sounds inherently implausible if you remove the stolen story as motive.

Arthur Conan Doyle was a Victorian gentleman in the best sense of the word, and would never have murdered anyone.