Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Doyles were a prosperous Irish-Catholic family. Charles Altamont Doyle, Arthur’s father, a chronic alcoholic, was a moderately successful artist, who apart from fathering a brilliant son, never accomplished anything of note.
At the age of twenty-two, Charles had married Mary Foley, a vivacious and well educated young woman of seventeen. Mary Doyle had a passion for books and was a master storyteller. Her son Arthur wrote of his mother’s gift of “sinking her voice to a horror-stricken whisper” when she reached the culminating point of a story. There was little money in the family and even less harmony on account of his father’s excesses and erratic behaviour.
Arthur’s touching description of his mother’s beneficial influence is also poignantly described in his autobiography, “In my early childhood, as far as I can remember anything at all, the vivid stories she would tell me stand out so clearly that they obscure the real facts of my life.”
Too white, too male, too privileged – and according to some critics, that’s just one of the co-directors. A new PBS documentary on an American giant sails in stormy waters…
“In some ways this is [our] most adult film,” Burns said. “I don’t mean that in any rating way. I mean that in how complicated it is to be able to tolerate contradiction, to be able to tolerate undertow, to understand that he could be one thing and the opposite of that thing at the same time.”
Daniels is not the only big name attached to the project. Meryl Streep voices the great journalist Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s third wife. Keri Russell, Mary-Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson read the words of Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer and Mary Welsh.
“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald Reading a great biography is like watching a tragedy unfold. The promises of youth gradually give way to the limitations imposed by reality, and demise and denouement inevitably ensue.