The Life and Art of Charles Doyle

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Books Containing Information about Charles Altamont Doyle

Baker, Michael. The Doyle Diary: The Last Great Conan Doyle Mystery. New York: Paddington Press, 1978. This book, published in 1978, is a complete facsimile of a sketchbook that Charles Doyle kept in 1889 while a patient in the Montrose Lunatic Asylum. Michael Baker, the author, was the first to publish research proving that Doyle was an alcoholic.


Above: Doyle's illustration for "A Study in Scarlet." The bearded man is Sherlock Holmes.


Bergem, Phillip G. The Family and Residences of Arthur Conan Doyle. 2nd Edition. St. Paul, Minn.: Picardy Place Press, 2003. Offers comprehensive census and genealogical information about the Doyle family, including Charles. This book also includes all the Edinburgh residences of Charles Doyle, the locations and dates of the asylums where he stayed, the place of his burial, and other pertinent information.

Brown, Ivor. Conan Doyle: A Biography of the Creator of Sherlock Holmes. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1972. pp. 35-36. Offers a brief introduction to Charles Doyle's life. Carefully avoids the topics of alcoholism, and commitment to mental institutions.

Booth, Martin. The Doctor and the Detective: A Biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. New York: St. Martin's, 1997. Booth emphasizes the comparison between Charles Doyle and his wife, Mary.

Carr, John Dickson. The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. New York: Harper, 1949. Carr portrays Charles Doyle as a melancholy dreamer, emphasizing his aloofness from his family.

Conan Doyle, Arthur. Memories and Adventures. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1924. Arthur Conan Doyle's autobiography is curiously secretive and hesitant in discussing his father. Arthur describes his dad as "unworldly and impractical and his family suffered for it."

Coren, Michael. Conan Doyle. London: Bloomsbury, 1995. pp. 8-11. Offers a romanticized and descriptive history of Charles Doyle and his frustrated ambitions.

Doyle, Richard. Richard Doyle and His Family: An Exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum 30th November 1983 to 26th February 1984. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1984. pp. 58-60. This exhibition includes the artwork of John, Richard, Charles and Arthur Conan Doyle. The section for Charles includes a brief biography, a couple color images, a short bibliography of the books he illustrated, and a list of illustrations held by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Doyle, Richard. Richard Doyle's Journal, 1840. Edinburgh: J. Bartholomew, 1980. This journal was written by Charles' brother Richard when he was a youth. Charles was 8 years old at the time the journal was kept. Although it does not have a great deal of information about Charles, it does offer an in-depth view of the household in which Charles and his siblings were raised.

Edwards, Owen Dudley. The Quest for Sherlock Holmes: A Biographical Study of Arthur Conan Doyle. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1983. pp. 11-39. Thorough and scholarly explanation of how Charles Doyle's alcoholism effected the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle. Also includes an in-depth biography of Charles Doyle.

Engen, Rodney. Richard Doyle. Stroud, Glos.: Catalpa Press, Ltd., 1983. Although primarily about Richard Doyle, this book includes a list of paintings by Charles in the Appendix (pg. 203). This list includes all the works held at the Royal Scottish Academy as well as a complete bibliography of the books illustrated by Charles.

Hardwick, Michael and Mollie. The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes. London: John Murray, 1964. pp.12-13. Describes Charles Doyle's art as "beautiful, haunting, disturbing" and touts the artist as a "master of fantasy."



Above: A watercolor sketch by Charles Altamont Doyle

Higham, Charles. The Adventures of Conan Doyle. New York: W.W. Norton, 1976. Higham depicts Charles as a frail and weak man. His art is referred to in a deprecating fashion.

Jaffe, Jacqueline. Arthur Conan Doyle. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987. p. 1. Jaffe avoids discussing Charles Doyle's alcoholism, instead she stresses his "emotional disturbances" and "chronic melancholia."

Lamond, John. Arthur Conan Doyle, A Memoir. London: John Murray, 1931. This is one of the earliest biographies about Arthur Conan Doyle, written only a year after his death. It praises Charles Doyle's artwork calling it "genius" and comparing it to the work of William Blake.

Lellenburg, Jon "Epilogue. The Quest Continues." The Quest for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Thirteen Biographers in Search of a Life. Ed. by Jon Lellenburg. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987. pp. 196-198. Discusses the importance of Michael Baker's discoveries about Charles Doyle in relation to scholarly research concerning Arthur Conan Doyle.

Nordon, Pierre. Conan Doyle. (Translation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: L'Homme et L'Oeuvre). Translated by Frances Partridge. London: John Murray, 1966. Nordon suggests that Arthur Conan Doyle possessed a latent hostility toward Charles because of his "lack of warmth" and "lack of determination."

Pearson, Hesketh. Conan Doyle, His Life and Art. London: White Lion Publishers, 1961. Pearson discusses Charles Altamont Doyle in terms of his "artistic temperment." At the time this book was written, nothing was known about Doyle's alcoholism. The fact that he was committed is not mentioned.

Stashower, Daniel. Teller of Tales: The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1999. Stashower discusses Charles Altamont Doyle in relation to his son, Arthur Conan Doyle.

Stavert, Geoffrey. A Study in Southsea: The Unrevealed Life of Doctor Arthur Conan Doyle. Portsmouth: Milestone Publications, 1987. pp. 46, 127. Depicts Charles as a "weak and somewhat unworldly" man unable to support his own family.

Symons, Julian. Portrait of an Artist: Conan Doyle. London: Whizzard Press, 1979. p. 35-38. Discusses the characteristics shared by Charles Doyle and his son, Arthur such as "otherworldliness" and "the feeling for fantasy."

Wark, Robert R. Charles Doyle's Fairyland. San Marino, CA: The Huntington Library, 1980. This book was created for an exhibit of Charles Doyle's works held at the Huntington Library in 1980. Not only does it include color illustrations of Doyle's works, it also includes a listing of all of Doyle's artwork held by the Huntington.

Wynne, Catherine. The Colonial Conan Doyle: British Imperialism, Irish Nationalism, and the Gothic. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. p. 22-23. 27-29. Discusses Charles Doyle's liberal-nationalist political beliefs, and their influence upon the drawings in his sketchbooks.

Note: This image is only shown for reference purposes. Please do not copy it for use in commercial applications. This drawing was published in Michael Baker's The Doyle Diary.