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Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's name is recognised the world over, for decades he was overshadowed by his creation, Sherlock Holmes - one of literature's most enduring characters. Conan Doyle was a man of many contradictions. Romantic, energetic, idealistic and upstanding, he could also be selfish and foolhardy. Lycett assembles the many threads of Conan Doyle's life, including the lasting impact of his domineering mother and his alcoholic father; his affair with a younger woman while his wife lay dying; and his fanatical pursuit of scientific data to prove and explain various supernatural phenomena. Lycett combines access to new material with assiduous research and penetrating insight to offer the most comprehensive, lucid and sympathetic portrait yet of Conan Doyle's personal journey from student to doctor, from world-famous author to ardent spiritualist.