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Quotes by Arthur Conan Doyle

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Arthur Conan Doyle. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.

Doyle was a prolific writer; other than Holmes stories, his works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" (1884), helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste.


Streams may spring from one source and yet some may be clear and some be foul.



It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgement.



A study of family portraits is enough to convert a man to the theory of reincarnation.



To underestimate oneself is as much an exaggeration of one's powers than the other.



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



We had got as far as this, when who should walk in but the gentleman himself, who had been drinking his beer in the taproom and had heard the whole conversation. Who was I? What did I want? What did I mean by asking questions? He had a fine flow of language, and his adjectives were very vigorous.



Some people's affability is more deadly than the violence of coarser souls.



What is out of the common is usually a guide rather than a hindrance.



Anything seems commonplace, once explained.



Well, well, my dear fellow, be it so. We have shared this same room for some years, and it would be amusing if we ended by sharing the same cell. .



She entered with ungainly struggle like some huge awkward chicken, torn, squawking, out of its coop.



Horses: dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle.



When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals.

Longer Version:

When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals. He has nerve and he has knowledge.



Dogmas of every kind put assertion in the place of reason and give rise to more contention, bitterness, and want of charity than any other influence in human affairs.



The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action I can recall in our association. I was alone.



In England the emerald-green kind is probably the commonest, I have seen it also in the woods of France and Belgium, in far-away Massachusetts, and on the banks of the Niagara River.



The goose we retained until this morning, when there were signs that, in spite of the slight frost, it would be well that it should be eaten without delay. Its finder has carried it off therefore to fulfil the ultimate destiny of a goose.



There is a soul-jealousy that can be as frantic as any body-jealousy.



The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished.



To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name.



What one man can invent, another can discover.



I am inclined to think -' said I. 'I should do so,' Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently.



There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you.



There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination; where there is no imagination there is no horror.



Everything I have to say has already crossed your mind.
Then possibly my answer has crossed yours.



The fantastic graces of Chivalry lay upon the surface of life, but beneath it was a half-savage population, fierce and animal, with little ruth or mercy.



To a great mind, nothing is little.



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.



So complex is the human spirit that it can itself scarce discern the deep springs which impel it to action.





It's stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.



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.



It is, of course, a trifle, but there is nothing so important as trifles.



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



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



This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.



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



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



Jealousy is a strange transformer of characters.





It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognise out of a number of facts which are incidental and which are vital.



I fear that if the matter is beyond humanity, it is certainly beyond me.



It is fortunate for this community that I am not a criminal.



You mentioned your name as if I should recognize it, but beyond the obvious facts that you are a bachelor, a solicitor, a freemason, and an asthmatic, I know nothing whatever about you.



A fine horse or a beautiful woman, I cannot look at them unmoved, even now when seventy winters have chilled my blood.



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



I suppose I shall have to compound a felony as usual.



His love of danger, his intense appreciation of the drama of an adventure -- all the more intense for being held tightly in -- his consistent view that every peril in life is a form of sport, a fierce game betwixt you and Fate, with Death as a forfeit, made him a wonderful companion at such hours.



I have my own views about Nature's methods, though I feel that it is rather like a beetle giving his.





He is not a bad fellow, though an absolute imbecile in his profession. He has one positive virtue. He is as brave as a bulldog and as tenacious as a lobster if he gets his claws upon anyone.



Just as an octopus may have his den in some ocean cave, and come floating out a silent image of horror to attack a swimmer, so I picture such a spirit lurking in the dark of the house which he curses by his presence, and ready to float out upon all whom he can injure.



Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.



Data!data!data! he cried impatiently. I can't make bricks without clay.



Let me run over the principal steps. We approached the case, you remember, with an absolutely blank mind, which is always an advantage. We had formed no theories. We were simply there to observe and to draw inferences from our observations.



Still, it is an error to argue in front of your data. You find yourself insensibly twisting them round to fit your theories.



There is nothing like first-hand evidence.



Like all Holmes' reasoning, the thing seemed simplicity itself when it was once explained. Dr. Watson, speaking of Sherlock Holmes.



You see, but you do not observe.



The fair sex is your department.



We all learn by experience, and your lesson this time is that you should never lose sight of the alternative. Sherlock Holmes speaking with Dr. Watson.



But love is an emotional thing, and whatever is emotional is opposed to that true cold reason which I place above all things.



By the way, Doctor, I shall want your cooperation.' 'I shall be delighted.' 'You don't mind breaking the law?' 'Not in the least.' 'Nor running a chance of arrest?' 'Not in a good cause.' 'Oh, the cause is excellent!' 'Then I am your man.' 'I was sure that I might rely on you.



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



To all the world he was the man of violence, half animal and half demon; but to her he always remained the little wilful boy of her own girlhood, the child who had clung to her hand. Evil indeed is the man who has not one woman to mourn him.



Though unmusical, German is the most expressive of all languages,.



Nature is the true revelation of the Deity to man. The nearest green field is the inspired page from which you may read all that it is needful for you to know.



For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain.



When you have one of the first brains of Europe up against you, and all the powers of darkness at his back, there are infinite possibilities.



I could not wish anything better than to be associated with my friend in one of those singular adventures which were the normal condition of his existence.



It is all very well to say that a man is clever, but the reader wants to see examples of it.



I was forced to agree.





'It is my duty to warn you that it will be used against you,' cried the Inspector, with the magnificent fair play of the British criminal law.



How ever did you see that? Because I looked for it.





It isn't true that the laws of nature have been capriciously disturbed; that snakes have talked; that women have been turned into salt; that rods have brought water out of rocks.



So tomorrow we disappear into the unknown. This account I am transmitting down the river by canoe, and it may be our last word to those who are interested in our fate.



What a lovely thing a rose is!



I dislike my fellow-mortals. Justice compels me to add that they appear for the most part to dislike me.





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



My uncle, Mr. Stephen Maple, had been at the same time the most successful and the least respectable of our family, so that we hardly knew whether to take credit for his wealth or to feel ashamed of his position.





Picnics are very dear to those who are in the first stage of the tender passion.





It is all in the way of professional experience.



His sanguine spirit turns every firefly into a star.





I follow my own methods, and tell as much or as little as I choose. That is the advantage of being unofficial.



On general principles, it is best that I should not leave the country. Scotland Yard feels lonely without me, and it causes an unhealthy excitement among the criminal classes.



It is the small men and not the great who hold their noses in the air.



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



The chief proof of man's real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness.





I get in the dumps at times, and don't open my mouth for days on end. You must not think I am sulky when I do that. Just let me alone, and I'll soon be right.



No man lives or has ever lived who has brought the same amount of study and of natural talent to the detection of crime which I have done.



The grand thing is to be able to reason backwards.







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.



My sister and I, you will recollect, were twins, and you know how subtle are the links which bind two souls which are so closely allied.



It is decreed by a merciful Nature that the human brain cannot think of two things simultaneously.



The husband was a teetotaller, there was no other woman, and the conduct complained of was that he had drifted into the habit of winding up every meal by taking out his false teeth and hurling them at his wife.



Brothers are a blessing for one thing. There is no possibility of any young lady getting unreasonably conceited if she be endowed with them.



Was it hardness, was it selfishness, that she should ask me to risk my life for her own glorification? Such thoughts may come to middle age; but never to ardent three-and-twenty in the fever of his first love.



I have already explained to you that what is out of the common is usually a guide rather than a hindrance.



The more outre' and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to elucidate it.



There is but one step from the grotesque to the horrible.



I should have more faith, he said; I ought to know by this time that when a fact appears opposed to a long train of deductions it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation.



When a man writes on a wall, his instinct leads him to write above the level of his own eyes.



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







I have wrought my simple plan If I give one hour of joy To the boy who's half a man, Or the man who's half a boy.



How wise and how merciful is that provision of nature by which his earthly anchor is usually loosened by many little imperceptible tugs, until his consciousness has drifted out of its untenable earthly harbor into the great sea beyond!



Might I trouble you to open the window, for chloroform vapour does not help the palate.





It seems very strange ... that in the course of the world's history so obvious an improvement should never have been adopted. ... The next generation of Britishers would be the better for having had this extra hour of daylight in their childhood.




Quotes by Arthur Conan Doyle are featured in:


Courage Quotes
Silence Quotes
Simplicity Quotes
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Love Quotes

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