[LMB] OT: Middle initials, was Heavy-handedness

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Fri Oct 31 22:55:32 GMT 2014

>> John: Granted, that's now more usual in the UK -- Harold Wilson, not J.
>> Harold Wilson -- but it isn't alien ; from the C19 the two that come
>> immediately to mind are P. Meadows Taylor (author of *Confessions of a
>> Thug*) and A. Conan Doyle.
> Marc: IS that what he went by?  I've generally seen him referred to as
> "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle" or just "Conan Doyle".

John: Most if not all the first editions were as by "A. Conan Doyle". You
can find pics in the Klinger *New Annotated Sherlock Holmes*, or the Wiki
pages may have illustrations ... yup, as here:


It would make sense if he changed the style after being knighted in 1902,
but the first ed. US covers of later works still had "A. Conan Doyle", and
I can't find images of UK first eds offhand. However, my 19th reissue
(1971) of the *Collected SH Short Stories* (1928) has "Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle", and I can't recall ever seeing "Sir A. Conan Doyle".

Howard: And I never heard of "Conan Doyle" until this thread.

John: Coo. Has to be the first time I've ever mentioned Meadows Taylor and
Conan Doyle together and had someone say "Who's Conan Doyle?"

As Lois said, he was the gent responsible for Sherlock Holmes, Professor
Challenger and the Lost World, Brigadier Gerard, and a small stack of
rather good historical novels ; also a notable campaigner for miscarriages
of justice, partly responsible for the foundation of the UK Court of Appeal
; and latterly, after a slew of bereavements, a rather gullible advocate of
various fraudulent spiritualists. Had a champion moustache, also.

John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

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