5 Must-Read Books By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, That Don’t Feature Sherlock Holmes

March 1, 2013


He may be best known as the creator of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was also a master story teller who wrote a number of books on other subjects. In fact, he even ‘killed’ Holmes for a while to be able to do so. And five of his best  ‘non-Holmesian’ books are:

1. Uncle Bernac

Has Napoleon ever been portrayed as brilliantly or as dramatically as this? We don’t think so. The story is of a young man who goes to meet Napoleon to address some family troubles, but at the end of the day, the image that stays with you is of Bonaparte playfully pulling the ears of his soldiers!


2. Sir Nigel

He is not the tallest, far from handsome and does not cut an impressive figure in a suit of armour (getting one for him is a trouble). But give him a sword and a horse and young Nigel Loring was as brave as any knight in medieval England. A wonderful tale, very well told. Especially for all those who love reading about knights and damsels.


3. The White Company

Three friends – Alleyne Edricson, Sam Aylward and Hordle John – set out for a round of spectacular adventures in medieval England. The result is a mix of laughter, action (lots of swordplay) and more than the odd touch of drama. Entertaining writing at its best, not least because an older Sir Nigel is part of the tale.


4. The Lost World

A lot of people remember it now as a TV series, but the idea of an eccentric professor going off to the jungles to find strange creatures is actually the creation of this book. You thought Jurassic Park was thrilling? Read this and change your mind. And Professor Challenger is as compelling a character as Holmes.


5. The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard / The Adventures of Gerard

Etienne Gerard is a hussar in the French Army under Napoleon. Far from subtle, ready of wit and not lacking in either courage or cunning, he has the knack of getting in and out of trouble. And taking credit for a number of historical events. A rip roaring read that makes the Flashman series look altogether tame in comparison.


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