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Arthur Conan Doyle Quotes

Arthur Conan Doyle Quotes

Arthur Conan Doyle was a Scottish writer and physician, born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the third of ten children and grew up in a strict Catholic household. Doyle studied at Edinburgh University and later worked as a doctor in Southsea, England.

Doyle is best known for creating the iconic detective character, Sherlock Holmes, in 1887. The character’s popularity was immediate and has endured for over a century. In addition to his work on the Holmes series, Doyle wrote numerous other novels, short stories, and plays. He was also a prolific writer of non-fiction, including works on spirituality, the occult, and historical subjects.

Doyle was a man of many interests and accomplishments. In addition to his writing, he was an advocate for social justice, political reform, and the rights of animals. He was a member of the Society for Psychical Research and believed in spiritualism, often participating in seances and other spiritualist practices.

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Doyle was also a sportsman, enjoying cricket, golf, and skiing. He was a supporter of the Boer cause during the Second Boer War and wrote a history of the conflict. In recognition of his service, he was knighted in 1902.

Doyle passed away on July 7, 1930, in Crowborough, England, at the age of 71. His legacy as one of the most influential and enduring writers in the English language continues to this day.

Here, we have curated some of the most popular quotes of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Famous Arthur Conan Doyle Quotes

1.“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

2. “It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.”

3. “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

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4. “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

5. “You see, but you do not observe.”

6. “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes. - Arthur Canon Doyle

7. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

8.“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”

9. “You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.”

10. “Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last.”

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11. “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

12. “The love of books is among the choicest gifts of the gods.”

13. “Watson. Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.”

14. “My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people do not know.”

15. “A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.”

16. “What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.”

17. “My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”

18. “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outre results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”

19. “Excellent!” I cried. “Elementary,” said he.”

20. “It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but that you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.”

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21. “I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.”

22. “The game is afoot.”

23. “To a great mind, nothing is little,’ remarked Holmes, sententiously.”

24. “Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting.”

Women are naturally secretive, and they like to do their own secreting. - Arthur Conan Doyle

25. “I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.”

26. “Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”

27. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

28. “There are always some lunatics about. It would be a dull world without them.”

29. “Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’

30. ‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’

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31. ‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’

32. ‘That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.”

33. “When the impossible has been eliminated, all that remains no matter how improbable is possible.”

34. “Healthy skepticism is the basis of all accurate observation.”

35. “There are no fools so troublesome as those who have some wit.”

36. “The most dangerous condition for a man or a nation is when his intellectual side is more developed than his spiritual. Is that not exactly the condition of the world today?”

37. “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible whatever remains, HOWEVER IMPROBABLE, must be the truth?”

38. “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”

39. “Skill is fine, and genius is splendid, but the right contacts are more valuable than either.”

40. “Any truth is better than indefinite doubt.”

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41. “It is stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.”

42. “There seems to me to be absolutely no limit to the inanity and credulity of the human race. Homo Sapiens! Homo idioticus!”

43. “There’s a light in a woman’s eyes that speaks louder than words.”

44. “It’s every man’s business to see justice done.”

45. “When once your point of view is changed, the very thing which was so damning becomes a clue to the truth.”

46. “Life, it turns out, is infinitely more clever and adaptable than anyone had ever supposed.”

Life, it turns out, is infinitely more clever and adaptable than anyone had ever supposed. - Arthur Conan Doyle

47. “It is not that I think or believe, but that I know.”

48. “The unexpected has happened so continually in my life that it has ceased to deserve the name.”

49. “There are times, young fellah, when every one of us must make a stand for human right and justice, or you never feel clean again.”

50. “The most difficult crime to track is the one which is purposeless.”

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51. “It is a mistake to confound strangeness with mystery.”

52. “How sweet the morning air is! …How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!”

53. “You yourself may not be luminous, but you are a conductor of light.”

54. “The chief proof of man’s real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness.”

55. “Of all ghosts the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.”

56. “One must wait till it comes.”

57. “Where there is no imagination there is no horror.”

58. “Of all ruins, that of a noble mind is the most deplorable.”

59. “I have mastered the principles of several religions. They have all shocked me by the violence which I should have to do to my reason to accept the dogmas of any one of them.”

60. “There is no satisfaction in vengeance unless the offender has time to realize who it is that strikes him, and why retribution has come upon him.”

61. “I think there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge.”

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62. “The grand thing is to be able to reason backwards.”

63. “We balance probabilities and choose the most likely. It is the scientific use of the imagination.”

64. “It is more than possible; it is probable.”

65. ”Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions.”

Keep your revolver near you night and day, and never relax your precautions. - Arthur Canon Doyle

66. “I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.”

67. “We can’t command our love, but we can our actions.”

68. “Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”

69. “Critics kind never mind! Critics flatter no matter! Critics blame all the same! Do your best damn the rest!”

70. “To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces.”

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71. “For strange effects and extraordinary combinations we must go to life itself, which is always far more daring than any effort of the imagination.”

72. “Your life is not your own. Keep your hands off it.”

73. “Jealousy is a strange transformer of characters.”

74. “It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.”

75. “I carry my own church about under my own hat,” said I. “Bricks and mortar won’t make a staircase to heaven. I believe with your Master that the human heart is the best temple.”

76. “My dear Watson,” said [Sherlock Holmes], “I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.”

77. “There is no scent so pleasant to my nostrils as that faint, subtle reek which comes from an ancient book.”

78. “When such men, who are beyond hope and fear, begin in their dim minds to see the source their woes, it may be an evil time for those who have wronged them. The weak man becomes strong when he has nothing, for then only can he feel the wild, mad thrill of despair.”

79. “You cannot see the lettuce and the dressing without suspecting a salad.”

80. “There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion,” said he, leaning with his back against the shutters.”

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81. “It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”

82. “When we think how narrow and devious this path of nature is, how dimly we can trace it, for all our lamps of science, and how from the darkness which girds it round great and terrible possibilities loom ever shadowly upwards, it is a bold and a confident man who will put a limit to the strange by-oaths into which the human spirit may wander.”

83. “At the moment our human world is based on the suffering and destruction of millions of non-humans. To perceive this and to do something to change it in personal and public ways is to undergo a change of perception akin to a religious conversion. Nothing can ever be seen in quite the same way again because once you have admitted the terror and pain of other species you will, unless you resist conversion, be always aware of the endless permutations of suffering that support our society.”

84. “I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner.”

85. “When you have eliminated the impossible, what is left, no matter how unlikely, is the truth.”

When you have eliminated the impossible, what is left, no matter how unlikely, is the truth. - Arthur Canon Doyle

86. “What one man can invent, another can discover.”

87. “You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”
It was worth a wound — it was worth many wounds — to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.”

88. “A man always finds it hard to realize that he may have finally lost a woman’s love, however badly he may have treated her.”

89. “I wanted to end the world, but I’ll settle for ending yours.”

90.“Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.”

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91.“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.”

92. “From the first day I met her, she was the only woman to me. Every day of that voyage I loved her more, and many a time since have I kneeled down in the darkness of the night watch and kissed the deck of that ship because I knew her dear feet had trod it. She was never engaged to me. She treated me as fairly as ever a woman treated a man. I have no complaint to make. It was all love on my side, and all good comradeship and friendship on hers. When we parted she was a free woman, but I could never again be a free man.”

93.“It’s quite exciting,” said Sherlock Holmes, with a yawn.”

94. “Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.”

95. “Work is the best antidote to sorrow, my dear Watson.”

96. “How sweet the morning air is! See how that one little cloud floats like a pink feather from some gigantic flamingo. Now the red rim of the sun pushes itself over the London cloud-bank. It shines on a good many folk, but on none, I dare bet, who are on a stranger errand than you and I. How small we feel with our petty ambitions and strivings in the presence of the great elemental forces of Nature!”

97. “As a rule, the more bizarre a thing is the less mysterious it proves to be. It is your commonplace, featureless crimes which are really puzzling, just as a commonplace face is the most difficult to identify.”

98. “I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor?”

99. “No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.”

100. “There is nothing more to be said or to be done tonight, so hand me over my violin and let us try to forget for half an hour the miserable weather and the still more miserable ways of our fellowmen.”

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