Tag Archives: the norwood author

Award for book on Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Norwood life

The Norwood AuthorThe Croydon Guardian reports that a book about the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle spent in Norwood has scooped the top literary prize in the UK for Sherlock Holmes.

“The Norwood Author picked up the Tony and Freda Howlett Literary Award 2011.

The book explores Sir Arthur’s life between 1891 and 1894 when he lived in Norwood and wrote many of his most important Sherlock Holmes works, including the first two series of short stories.

It is written by leading Holmes historian Alistair Duncan, who also lives in south Norwood and has written many previous books on the author of Sherlock Holmes.

He said: “Conan Doyle was a man who always got involved in his local community regardless of what he was doing on the national stage. All the biographies that I had read failed to contain much, if anything, about his local activities when it came to the Norwood years. I couldn’t believe that there was nothing to discover and took it upon myself to go digging.”

The Norwood Builder

Being a local resident helped Alistair with to tackle such a challenging book project, having admitted it was his most difficult to write.

He paid tribute to the work of Christine Corner and Chris Bennet at the Croydon Local Studies Library for their help in trawling through the archives in search of new gems of information about Sir Arthur’s life in south London. Conan Doyle was a resident of Norwood from 1891-1894 and many of his most important works were written there, including around a third of the Holmes stories. [like The Norwood Builder pictured left].

During this period Conan Doyle lived a suburban life in South Norwood, London and Duncan has delved into the minutiae of this time to give us the details of Conan Doyle’s involvement in his local environs, particularly in three enduring aspects of his life – the sporting, the literary and the scientific.”

The Norwod Author is available from all good bookstores, in many formats worldwide including Waterstones UK,  Amazon USA, Amazon Kindle, iBooks for the iPad/iPhone, Kobo Books and more.

Alistair’s next book. ‘An Entirely New Country’ out in December covers the time Conan Doyle spent at Undershaw, the home he designed himself and where he wrote his most important works  – the book also supports the campaign to Save Undershaw which faces destruction by developers.


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The Norwood Builder gets 9 out of 10 – 56 Sherlock Holmes stories in 56 Days

Charlotte Walters is on Day 24 of her quest to review the 56 Sherlock Holmes stories in 56 days (to celebrate the launch of her novel Barefoot on Baker Street) – and today its The Norwood Builder. Hats off to Charlotte who is juggling a full time demanding job, kids, commuting and trying to re-read a Holmes story – and review it – every day.

We too love this story and Charlotte gives it a rare 9 out of 10. We also like it as one of our authors, Alistair Duncan, won the 2011 Howlett Award (Sherlock Holmes book of the year) with his book about the time that Conan Doyle spent there – ‘The Norwood Author charts the authors time in Norwood in London where he wrote much of his best work.

You can read the whole of Charlotte’s review by visiting Charlotte Walter’s Blog.


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New Arthur Conan Doyle Book Gets Rave Review

Alistair Duncan’s new book ‘The Norwood Author – Arthur Conan Doyle and the Norwood Years (1891 – 1894)’ has received its first major review – 4 stars and a glowing report from The Bookbag.

The book covers a critical stage in Conan Doyle’s life – and one that has been rarely covered by other historians.

“This book does an excellent job in detailing his activities as a resident of Norwood. There is a comprehensive choice of illustrations, both old and new, and appendices on relevant articles about him in the ‘Norwood News’ as well as his cricket performances. Also included is a brief note of what happened to him and his contemporaries in the ensuing years, and on how Norwood celebrates the legacy of their famous resident over a hundred years later, not least with an exhibition at the local Wetherspoons. The solid research has clearly been a labour of love, and the result is a concise volume with which no Conan Doyle enthusiast should be with out.”

The book comes out on the 1st March and is one of the most eagerly awaited by Doyleans.

The full review is available at  The Bookbag

The Norwood Author

The Norwood Author


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