Tuesday, 3 May 2011

An Entirely New Country, Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw and the Resurrection of Sherlock Holmes

A few words from Alistair Duncan the author of a new book due for release in December this year.

"I just thought now would be a good time to give you all an update on my next book "An Entirely New Country". I also like to clear up some misconceptions about it.

Firstly, it is not a book about Undershaw per se. Instead the book looks at Conan Doyle's life both locally and nationally during the period he resided in his Hindhead home (1897 - 1907). In many respects I use the house as a chronological anchor more than anything else. You can expect events described that took place away from Undershaw as well as those that took place within it.

The decade that Conan Doyle resided in Undershaw was an eventful one both professionally and personally. He lost his first wife to tuberculosis and married his second. He resurrected Sherlock Holmes and saw the first serious stage dramatisation of his famous creation. He also stood twice for Parliament and spoke out both in person and through the press on a variety of local and national issues.

Inevitably, with a man as written about as Conan Doyle, you will find things in my book that you have read elsewhere. This problem has affected all of his biographers since Hesketh Pearson who wrote the earliest (that I know of) in the 1940's. However, I have done my best to present these facts from a different perspective and have thrown in a few new ones where I have been able to unearth them. I also indulge myself in a little speculation here and there about how events in Conan Doyle's life affected his writing and vice versa.

The book is currently going through the editing stage. This is where the first draft is checked for errors - both factual and typographical - and changes are suggested. These may cause whole new sections to be composed and some to be taken away. Rest assured though that we are on course for the launch date of December 5th 2011".

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