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In February 1880, when Arthur Conan Doyle was only twenty years old, he embarked upon 'the first real outstanding adventure in my life,' seven months as a ship's surgeon on an Arctic whaler. The voyage took the young Conan Doyle into unknown regions and plunged him into dangerous and bloody work on the ice floes of the Arctic seas. His unforgettable adventure was echoed in a number of his early landmarks as a writer. A ghost story based on the experience, 'The Captain of the Pole-Star,' got him noticed in publishing circles as a promising young writer, and a magazine article called 'The Glamour of the Arctic' won him the respect of intrepid Arctic explorers. During the voyage, Conan Doyle kept a detailed diary. This incredible document, hidden from public view for more than a century, is written in his clear handwriting and is illustrated with many charming pen-and-ink sketches of scenes of life on board and of the sea-creatures and other sights he saw. It provides a vivid account of the coming of age of the young man who would go on to create Sherlock Holmes, and of a life at sea that no longer exists. This book will feature a facsimile of this remarkable diary, with a transcript, as well as several non-fiction and fiction pieces based on the experience, including the Sherlock Holmes story 'The Adventure of the Black Peter.' It will also include photographs of the ship, its captain, and young Conan Doyle on deck. The publication of this unknown diary will be welcomed by all fans of Arthur Conan Doyle.
The British Library Publishing Division
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