Moments in Literary History 1

In the late Spring of 1891, Greenbough Smith, the newly appointed literary editor of

‘The Strand’ received a submission of two handwritten manuscripts.

Forty years later he described how he reacted on that day—“I at once realized here was the greatest short story writer

since Edgar Allan Poe, I remember rushing into Mr. Noames [publisher ] room and thrusting the stories before his eyes ….

Here was a new and gifted story writer; there was no mistaking the ingenuity of the plot, the limpid clearness of the style,

the perfect art of telling a story.”

The two stories that excited Smith’s interest were ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ and ‘The Red-Headed League’

20 thoughts on “Moments in Literary History 1

  1. Okay I admit I haven’t read any Arthur Conan Doyle either. I must admit it’s not a genre that attracts me in general. As a young teen I did read some Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden but the lure to mystery / detective novels dried up after that. I haven’t read Agatha Christie either. I”m a sad specimen to come out of an arts degree. My husband had to force feed me Lord of the Rings. Man was I proud to get through that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In a sense, of course, the post is not really about Poe or Conan Doyle but the impact a genuinely unique figure, be it model, actor, writer, makes upon the world:: it is immediate and it is deep and terribly, terribly exciting —


  3. I’m surprised Doyle didn’t use a typewriter. it seems a bit risky to submit a sheaf of personally written, probably damn-near-illegible notes and expect someone to take them seriously. The slush pile reader wasn’t even an amateur — he had the good artistic sense to recognize talent when he saw it. Ah, for the good old days.

    Liked by 1 person

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