Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan
Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

English Physician and Detective-Story Writer, famous for detective Sherlock Holmes crime fiction adventures, also Science Fiction Stories, Plays, Romances, Poetry, Historical and Non-fiction Novels

Author Quotes

Yes, I have a turn both for observation and for deduction. The theories which I have expressed there, and which appear to you to be so chimerical are really extremely practical - so practical that I depend upon them for my bread and cheese.

You quote an isolated sentence from my lecture, and appear to have some difficulty in understanding it. I should have thought that only a sub-human intelligence could have failed to grasp the point, but if it really needs amplification I shall consent to see you at the hour named.

Slate-colored clouds with ragged fringes are drifting slowly overhead. Between them one has a glimpse of higher clouds of a lighter gray. I can hear the gentle swish of the rain striking a clearer note on the gravel path and a duller among the leaves. Sometimes it falls straight and heavy, till the air is full of the delicate gray shading, and for half a foot above the ground there is a haze from the rebound of a million tiny globules.

Take a pinch of snuff, doctor, and acknowledge that I have scored over you in your example.

The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action I can recall in our association. I was alone.

The more outré and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined.

The Times is a paper which is seldom found in any hands but those of the highly educated.

There are no fools so troublesome as those of the mind.

There is nothing new under the sun. It has all been done before.

This fellow will not go wrong again; he is too terribly frightened. Send him to gaol now, and you make him a gaol-bird for life. Besides, it is the season of forgiveness. Chance has put in our way a most singular and whimsical problem, and its solution is its own reward.

To underestimate oneself is as much an exaggeration of one's powers than the other.

We must look for consistency. Where there is a want of it we must suspect deception.

When once your point of view is changed, the very thing which was so damning becomes a clue to the truth.

Yes, the reaction is already upon me. I shall be as limp as a rag for a week. Strange, said I, how terms of what in another man I should call laziness alternate with your fits of splendid energy and vigor.

You see, he explained, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.

So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a link of it.

Tell me, Doctor, what it does have certain powers if there is no way to use them? The crime is commonplace, life is trivial, and only the trivial qualities have become a feature on the ground.

The goose we retained until this morning, when there were signs that, in spite of the slight frost, it would be well that it should be eaten without delay. Its finder has carried it off therefore to fulfil the ultimate destiny of a goose.

The more we progress the more we tend to progress. We advance not in arithmetical but in geometrical progression. We draw compound interest on the whole capital of knowledge and virtue which has been accumulated since the dawning of time. Some eighty thousand years are supposed to have existed between paleolithic and neolithic man. Yet in all that time he only learned to grind his flint stones instead of chipping them. But within our father's lives what changes have there not been? The railway and the telegraph, chloroform and applied electricity. Ten years now go further than a thousand then, not so much on account of our finer intellects as because the light we have shows us the way to more. Primeval man stumbled along with peering eyes, and slow, uncertain footsteps. Now we walk briskly towards our unknown goal.

The true scientific mind is not to be tied down by its own conditions of time and space. It builds itself an observatory erected upon the border line of present, which separates the infinite past from the infinite future. From this sure post it makes its sallies even to the beginning and to the end of all things.

There are one or two elementary rules to be observed in the way of handling patients, he remarked, seating himself on the table and swinging his legs. The most obvious is that you must never let them see that you want them. It should be pure condescension on your part seeing them at all; and the more difficulties you throw in the way of it, the more they think of it. Break your patients in early, and keep them well to heel.

There is nothing so deceptive as the distance of a light upon a pitch-dark night, and sometimes the glimmer seemed to be far away upon the horizon and sometimes it might have been within a few yards of us.

This is the process of separation of Dundas... The husband was a teetotaler, there was another woman, and the behavior of the wife who complained was that the husband had acquired the habit of finishing every meal removing his dentures and his wife arrojándosela which, you will agree, not the kind of act that is often happen to a current novelist.

Too bad we'll never know if this is a face you could learn to love.

We surely know by some nameless instinct more about our futures than we think we know.

Author Picture
First Name
Arthur Conan
Last Name
Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
Birth Date
Death Date

English Physician and Detective-Story Writer, famous for detective Sherlock Holmes crime fiction adventures, also Science Fiction Stories, Plays, Romances, Poetry, Historical and Non-fiction Novels