Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan
Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
1859
1930

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

When such men, who are beyond hope and fear, begin in their dim minds to see the source their woes, it may be an evil time for those who have wronged them. The weak man becomes strong when he has nothing, for then only can he feel the wild, mad thrill of despair.

Yet birth, and lust, and illness, and death are changeless things, and when one of these harsh facts springs out upon a man at some sudden turn of the path of life, it dashes off for the moment his mask of civilization and gives a glimpse of the stranger and stronger face below.

You will remember that I remarked the other day, just before we went into the very simple problem presented by Miss Mary Sutherland, that for strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination. A proposition which I took the liberty of doubting. You did, Doctor, but none the less you must come round to my view, for otherwise I shall keep on piling fact upon fact on you until your reason breaks down under them and acknowledges me to be right.

So complex is the human spirit that it can itself scarce discern the deep springs which impel it to action.

Ten minutes later we were both in a cab, and rattling through the silent streets on our way to Charing Cross Station. The first faint winter's dawn was beginning to appear, and we could dimly see the occasional figure of an early workman as he passed us,

The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished.

The most difficult crime to track is the one which is purposeless.

The unexpected has happened so continually in my life that it has ceased to deserve the name.

There are some trees, Watson, which grow to a certain height and then suddenly develop some unsightly eccentricity. You will see it often in humans. I have a theory that the individual represents in his development the whole procession of his ancestors, and that such a sudden turn to good or evil stands for some strong influence which came into the line of his pedigree. The person becomes, as it were, the epitome of the history of his own family.

There seems to me to be absolutely no limit to the inanity and credulity of the human race. Homo Sapiens! Homo idioticus!

This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.

Too much! Wait till you have lived here longer. Look down the valley! See the cloud of a hundred chimneys that overshadows it! I tell you that the cloud of murder hangs thicker and lower than that over the heads of the people. It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn. Wait, young man, and you will learn for yourself.

We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence.

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.

You appear to be astonished, he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.

You will remember, Watson, how the dreadful business of the Abernetty family was first brought to my notice by the depth which the parsley had sunk into the butter upon a hot day.

So it was, my dear Watson, that at two o'clock today I found myself in my old armchair in my own old room, and only wishing that I could have seen my old friend Watson in the other chair which he has so often adorned.

That any civilized human being in this nineteenth century should not be aware that the earth traveled round the sun appeared to me to be such an extraordinary fact that I could hardly realize it. ‘You appear to be astonished,’ he said, smiling at my expression of surprise. ‘Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.’ ‘To forget it!’ ‘You see,’ he explained, ‘I consider that a man’s brain 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 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 most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that 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.’ ‘But the Solar System!’ I protested. ‘What the deuce is it to me?’ he interrupted impatiently: ‘you say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.

The human brain is capable of only one strong emotion at a time, and if it be filled with curiosity or scientific enthusiasm, there is no room for fear.

The most serious point in the case is the disposition of the child. What on earth has that to do with it? I ejaculated. My dear Watson, you as a medical man are continually gaining insight as to the tendencies of a child by the study of the parents. Don't you see that the converse is equally valid. I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.

The ways of fate are indeed hard to understand. If there is not some compensation hereafter, then the world is a cruel jest.

There are times, young fellah, when every one of us must make a stand for human right and justice, or you never feel clean again.

There was a lady at Santarem--but my lips are sealed. It is the part of a gallant man to say nothing, though he may indicate that he could say a great deal.

This love which I had thought was a joke and a plaything--it is only now that I understand that it is the molder of one's life, the most solemn and sacred of all things.

Unwelcome truths are not popular.

Author Picture
First Name
Arthur Conan
Last Name
Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
Birth Date
1859
Death Date
1930
Bio

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