The Conan Doyle Estate Ltd consists of eight people, all but one of whom are the beneficiaries of the will of Dame Jean Conan Doyle, the youngest child of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Most of us are relations of Sir Arthur, by marriage or blood.
We originally set up the company to manage the literary, merchandising, and advertising rights in Conan Doyle’s works and characters, including Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Professor Challenger. We own United States copyrights in the works still under copyright protection in the U.S.A. and also own U.S. trademark and common law rights in the name and image of Sherlock Holmes and several other Conan Doyle characters.
However, our mission now is much broader. Everyone has heard of Sherlock Holmes but few know much about his creator. Indeed we have met people in many different countries who are convinced Holmes was a real person - and don’t wish to hear he was not! Like everyone else, we loved reading the Sherlock Holmes books and stories when we were children. We have actively supported the recent re-imaginings of the detective on screen and in print. We are particularly delighted that this has caused many to read Conan Doyle’s original stories. But he created many other fascinating characters. We can attest that Dame Jean preferred her father’s witty stories about Brigadier Gerard, a dumb but endearing Napoleonic officer, which are themselves drawn from the memoirs of one of Napoleon’s generals. And then there is the irascible Professor Challenger, hero of Conan Doyle’s Lost World, the story of an expedition to a plateau in South America where dinosaurs have survived into modern times. Michael Crichton’s sequel to Jurassic Park bears the same title, in homage to Conan Doyle, and has some similar story lines. Conan Doyle himself thought his best literary works were two historical novels – The White Company and Sir Nigel.
Conan Doyle was a man of many talents who led an extraordinary life. As well as being a prolific and highly successful author, he was a physician, an adventurer, a sportsman and a campaigner on a wide range of issues. For most of his life and for many years after his death in 1930, his name and his exploits were known not only in the UK but also around the world. We, as his family, are determined to make him famous once more.
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
22nd May 1859 – 7th July 1930
The Conan Doyle Estate
Director & Step Great Grandson
The Conan Doyle Estate is made up of a global network of experts who provide specialist knowledge on Arthur Conan Doyle and his characters.
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