I have just read again the ‘Afterword’ in Andrew Lycett’s

‘Conan Doyle: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes’.

The restrictions placed by the literary estate have become

almost legendary, I know, but I was surprised by the restrictions

placed on this particular biographer. A few examples stood out: 

“But the Conan Doyle estate was not satisfied with the actual words

(which I supplied with the sources). Foley asked me for the contexts

in which I wanted to use them.”


“Oddly I was not allowed to use certain copyright material which had been

published elsewhere, including in previous biographies. 

As a result I had to spend further time deleting or paraphrasing quotations

which I had painstakingly assembled in my text.”


Lycett has managed to write a good book despite having to deal with these

and similar obstacles.


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