[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Conan Doyle works to be auctioned
Conan Doyle manuscript
The manuscripts are expected to fetch up to 200,000
Rare manuscripts by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are to be auctioned for charity in the UK.

The hand-written works belonged to his last surviving child, Dame Jean Conan Doyle, who died in 1997.

The six manuscripts - the largest number to hit the market in several decades - include science fiction and war reporting, but no Sherlock Holmes.

They will be sold by Christie's in London on 19 November in aid of RAF groups and other forces charities.

Expected to fetch up to 200,000, the collection includes two stories from the Brigadier Gerard series, which many critics believe is superior to even Sherlock Holmes.

Gerard was an officer in Napoleon's army, and is the only truly consistent comic figure created by Conan Doyle.

The collection also includes a pioneering science fiction tale, The Maracot Deep, which tells of a band of deep sea diving explorers rescued by beings from Atlantis.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur was a military doctor during the Boer War
A Duet (with an Occasional Chorus), published in 1899, is a novel examining the courting and the ups and downs of a young late-Victorian couple's newlywed life.

Two important pieces of militaria by Conan Doyle will be also be offered.

They are a three-page poem - Ypres, September 1915 - and a 13-page article, A Glimpse of the Army, from 1900, based on his experiences as a doctor during the Boer War.

Beneficiaries of the auction will be the RAF Benevolent Fund, the RAF Association, the Not Forgotten Association, the Elizabeth Finn Trust (formerly The Distressed Gentlefolks Aid Association), Help the Hospices, and the Royal Star and Garter Home, Richmond.

Conan Doyle manuscript
The works date from the 19th and early 20th centuries
Dame Jean served in the RAF for 30 years, and was the highest ranking woman in the RAF at the time of her retirement.

She rose to the rank of Air Commandant and the post of Director of the Women's Royal Air Force. She was also Aide de Camp to the Queen, and a CBE.

Tom Lamb, Head of Christie's book department in London, said: "It is a fitting tribute to the generosity of Dame Jean that her father's manuscripts will be sold to benefit these charities associated with the armed forces."


SEE ALSO:
Conan Doyle 'stole Sherlock story'
02 Aug 01  |  Entertainment
Holmes drama explodes myths
26 Dec 02  |  Entertainment


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific