Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland to an Irish Catholic family. He was sent away to school in England to the draconian Stonyhurst College. This was partly to give the boy a good Jesuit education, one which was to destroy his faith, and partly to get him out of the way of his increasingly demented father.
He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and in spite of colleagues of the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and J M Barrie, was not entirely gripped by his studies there. An adventurer at heart, he spent a year in the middle of his studies as a ship’s surgeon on an Arctic whaler.
It was while he was practicing medicine in Portsmouth that he started writing A Study In Scarlet, what was to be the first of the series of tales about the most famous detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes.