Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Alistair's visit to Hindhead

I mentioned in a post previously that Alistair Duncan is writing a book about the Undershaw Years. I had the privilige of meeting him last week and in his blog he described his visit to Undershaw as a pilgrimage which I believe many would consider as just that.

Conan Doyle gained the respect of many people during his life time through his books and what he did for society. His popularity grew not only here in England but to all corners of the globe. The respect for his work is still evident even 80 years on since his death in 1930. Through the Sherlock Holmes character played by many actors, he has remained one of our best known literary icons and continues to attract fans from every generation since his passing.

His house is worthy of much more than mundane modern apartments and a trivial gazebo at the end of the garden with a wooden plaque stating that "Conan Doyle lived here". The authorities should seriously consider something more worthy of the man that gave us Sherlock Holmes, worked in a field hospital called the Langman Hospital in the Boer War, and was knighted in 1902 for his services to the crown, who found justice for George Edalji who had been wrongly convicted of assaulting horses/cattle which brought about the Court of Criminal Appeal in 1907 to name but a few.

The meeting with Alistair took us to Undershaw to view the current shameful vandalised state of the building, with more windows broken and again no security. We then travelled onto the graves of Louise Conan Doyle, Kingsley and Mary Conan Doyle and of course Conan Doyle's mother. We finally relaxed in the comfort of the Fox and Pelican where we met with John Gibson to discuss Alistair's new book. I must admit Alistair I do like the title of the book, thank you for sharing it with us.

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