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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) started to write as a doctor, whilst waiting for patients to arrive. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in A Study in Scarlet (1887). The Holmes stories soon attracted such a following that Conan Doyle felt the character overshadowed his other work. In The Final Problem (1893) Conan Doyle killed him off, but was obliged by public demand to restore the detective to life.
Perhaps the greatest of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries is this: that when we talk of him we invariably fall into the fancy of his existence -- T. S. Eliot