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It is always interesting to analyse the relationship between a writer and his creation and to see how often the former tries to shake off the latter.

Thursday, 2nd November 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:12 am

Agatha Christie grew increasingly weary of Poirot, Hergé hated and dreamed of strangling Tintin, and Arthur Conan Doyle famously tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls.

In Friday’s study morning, we shall examine the edgy relationship between Holmes and his creator, and place both in the wider context of crime fiction and crime fact.

Conan Doyle is frequently presented as a pillar of the ‘Establishment’ and a man of great social conformity, but his life was anything but humdrum.

After studying under Dr Joseph Bell, a supposed model for Holmes, in Edinburgh, Arthur took a job as a ship’s surgeon on the Hope, a 400-tonne whaler bound for the Arctic. He harpooned a whale and nearly drowned in icy waters. The next year he nearly died from typhoid off the coast of West Africa. On the way home the ship caught fire.

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As well as Conan Doyle’s life and times, Dr Moore will talk about his literary influences, which included Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins and Anthony Trollope, and also about his antecedents in the genre of crime fiction and the role of the Press in making crime a matter of popular interest.

The study morning will be accessible to all and you do not need to have read any works by Conan Doyle.

It will take place from 10am to 1pm, at the William Elder Building, Castlegate, Berwick. Tickets cost £9. You can book at www.berwickea.co.uk or on Facebook berwickea.

The film studies course continues at The Maltings on Wednesday with a lecture by Pascal Iannone, of Edinburgh University, entitled Italian Cinema: Neo-Realism And Beyond.

It will be followed by a screening of Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria, which won an Oscar, and Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina, won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance as Cabiria.

The lecture starts at 1.30pm and the film at 2.45pm. Tickets are available online or at The Maltings box office.