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The Umbrella Organisation

The Umbrella Organisation

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The Doyle Diary: The Last Great Conan Doyle Mystery
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly

Photo credit: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DOYLE-DIARY-last-great-conan-doyle-mystery-1978-/260797189874#ht_1717wt_907

I was in my local British Heart Foundation bookshop today and I picked this up for the grand sum of £2.50. I had never heard of it or seen it before. But it is just beautiful and a real treasure trove.

What is it?

Cut and pasted from http://www.grosvenorprints.com/stock_detail.php?ref=22090:

The Doyle Diary: The Last Great Conan Doyle Mystery.
With a Holmesian Investigation into the Strange and Curious Case of Charles Altamont Doyle
By Michael Baker

Paddington Press Ltd. New York & London. Copyright 1978 Paddington Press (U.K.) Ltd.

Charles Altamont Doyle, father of Arthur Conan Doyle, spent the last days of his life in asylums, but the question remains: was he actually mad? This book provides the evidence for readers to judge for themselves. Here reproduced in its enterity is Doyle's diary, a wondrous blending of words and watercolour, a collage of fact and fancy featuring exquisitely detailed fairies and birds, Punch-like cartoons and a never-ending stream of quips and puns.

You can get a flavour of the book and what it contains here:

You can purchase your own copy here:
or here:

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Good find!

I'm not so interested myself in the sketches, but Charles Altamont Doyle did do great illustrative watercolour and ink pictures and paintings. Some are quite nightmarish, almost in the vein of Hieronymous Bosch. Others more typically Victorian fairytale style, like this one with spirits of the dead as ghostly flying forms http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saint_Giles_His_Bells_-_C_A_Doyle.jpg

I'd buy a book with reproductions of his paintings in it. Must look out for one next time I'm in the Edinburgh museum or Scottish national gallery. :-)

Thanks for the link - stunning!

If you find a book with the reproductions of his paintings in it, let me know!

I was interested in the mental health angle.
Charles Doyle spent the last days of his life in asylums and I am interested in finding out whether he was indeed mad, or just an alcoholic and an epileptic. I am very interested in how society defines sanity and madness over the ages.

I may find some postcards in Edinburgh at the very least.

The mental health issue is interesting. I was starting to think of the man as being rather like Vincent Van Gogh as played by BC. Have you seen that BBC docu-drama?

No, as per usual, I was an idiot and missed it!

You must see it! Benedict is fabulous in it. :-)

I know, I know. Benedict is ALWAYS fabulous!

The BBC will repeat it (they already have done so once!) and I will catch it next time round.

First off I want to see Hawking!

He's even more brilliant in Hawking. Adorable in fact.

Which is why Hawking is my top priority thing to see. It is the one Benedict piece that I have never seen that I really want to.

Indeed, very interesting painting! Thanks for the link captivebird!

Raks, thanks also for sharing this book! I had never heard of it and it certainly sounds very interesting! :)

The book is pretty amazing; my heart stopped when I found it; it felt like I had discovered long lost treasure!

The book is a real treasure trove. Highly recommended, especially for the prices that it is being sold for on Amazon!

Also, is there no end to your Mycroft avatars? :)

Héhéhé, there isn't, indeed! Strangely enough, they are quite rare to spot... ;)

It'd been a looong time since I didn't walk around amazon... again... (ahum)

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