Group discussion at New Kensington offers clues about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

'One Book, One Community' dissects the life of surgeon and Sherlock Holmes creator
Community event

A pencil portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who is the subject of a book discussion June 14 at Penn State New Kensington.


NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Examining the life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is focus of a community assembly at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at Penn State New Kensington.

The annual program, "One Book, One Community," will probe the book, “Arthur and Sherlock Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes,” by acclaimed author Michael Sims. A group reading will take place in the campus’ Elizabeth S. Blissell Library. A discussion will follow the reading. Copies of the book will be available to borrow in the library.

While a medical student, Doyle studied under Joseph Bell, an accomplished surgeon and professor at the University of Edinburgh. Because of his attention to the minutest of details, such as dress, gait and speech, Bell was able to draw conclusions about the maladies of his patients that other doctors would have missed.

Doyle’s experiences with Bell honed the young surgeon’s modern mystery-writing style. Doyle based the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes on Bell, who also worked with several Scotland Yard investigations, including the "Jack the Ripper" case.

Overcoming a childhood of poverty and violence, Doyle evolved into a true Renaissance man. According to the Arthur Conan Doyle website, Doyle was an adventurer, author, campaigner, Knight, physician, spiritualist and sportsman. An outdoor activities enthusiast, he was an archer, shooter, boxer, cyclist, skier and motorist. He played baseball, golf, billiards and cricket.

Sponsored by the Westmoreland Library Network, the event is a part of a series of discussions of the book member libraries. The network is a system of public libraries in Westmoreland county that provides free library service to county residents.

For more information, email or call the Continuing Education office: Beth Nury, [email protected] or 724-334-6011; or Pat Hollinger, 724-334-6053 or [email protected].


Bill Woodard

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

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