Conan Doyle notebook is snapped up by surgeons

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THE Royal College of Surgeons has swooped for a notebook belonging to Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The notebook, which the college purchased at auction, includes a hand-written version of the author’s second novel, The American.

Conan Doyle, who studied medicine at Edinburgh University, was a member of the Royal College.

The inspiration for Sherlock Holmes came from his mentor at university, lecturer and chief surgeon Dr Joseph Bell.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was first serialised in The Strand Magazine between 1891 and 1893 and his address, 221B Baker Street, soon became the most famous London street in literature.

Conan Doyle was born in Picardy Place, the son of Charles Altamont Doyle, a civil servant in the Edinburgh Office of Works, and Mary Doyle.

The Royal College of Surgeons was first recorded as a corporate body in 1505. It began as a guild for barbers and surgeons, but by the end of the 16th century a distinction had arisen between barbers, who cut and shaved hair, and barber surgeons, who also practised bloodletting.

Conan Doyle qualified as doctor in 1885. After graduation, he practiced medicine as an eye specialist at Southsea near Porsmouth in Hampshire until 1891 when he became a full-time writer.

He died in 1930, and a statue of his most famous character, Holmes, stands near his Picardy Place birthplace.