Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh and educated at Stonyhurst and in Germany. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and afterwards practised at Southsea. His first ventures into authorship were not particularly successful. Fame arrived after his invention of the detective hero with preternatural acumen called Sherlock Holmes. The first story of Sherlock Holes called Adventures was published in Strand Magazine in 1891 and this led to many best selling books.
In 1900 during the Anglo-Boer War he volunteered to serve as a doctor with the British Army. After sweating through the typhoid epidemic in Bloemfontein he marched with Robertís army to Pretoria. His experiences in South Africa became the genesis for his classic and much lauded, The Great Boer.