Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's brilliant, swashbuckling classic, now reissued
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh. Educated by the Jesuits at Stonyhurst, Doyle entered the medical school at Edinburgh University in 1876, working as a doctor's assistant at times to help pay the fees. He graduated in 1881 and, after Greenland and African voyages as a ship's doctor, went into practice at Southsea, Portsmouth. Conan Doyle had started to write while he was a medical student, and at twenty he had a story published in Chamber's journal. Sherlock Holmes first appeared in A Study in Scarlet (1887), and from 1891 he featured regularly in stories for the Strand Magazine. To replace Holmes, Conan Doyle created Etienne Gerard, a young French cavalry officer from the time of the Napoleonic Wars, whose memoirs were collected as The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard (1896) and its sequel, Adventures of Gerard. Knighted in 1902, Conan Doyle produced more than 60 books in the course of his career, including songs, poetry and historical fiction in the spirit of Scott. But his greatest literary achievement lay in his short stories, unrivalled in the mingling of character, action and atmosphere, whether Holmesian or Gerardine.
* The Brigadier Gerard stories display all the narrative gusto of Doyle's more famous Sherlock Holmes, together with an irresistible warmth and humour. The Brigadier himself, bristling with valour and self-regard, is the most preposterous and delightful of companions. -- Philip Pullman * Of course I read every Sherlock Holmes story, but the works I like even more than the detective stories are his great historical stories. -- Winston Churchill * Conan Doyle for thrust and instant atmosphere. -- John le Carre * Brigadier Gerard is, after Holmes and Watson, Conan Doyle's most successful literary creation. -- Julian Symons * Whether rescuing damsels in destress or duelling with adversaries, Gerard is an utterly preposterous hero, and brave to the point of stupidity in these irresistible swashbucklers. Tatler