Monday, April 29, 2013

The Tent of Doctor Doyle - Building "Undershaw" & Grant Allen - The Sketch 1897.

Advert for 1st issue of "The Sketch" February 1893.

I recently acquired 2 original pages from issues of "The Sketch", a weekly illustrated newspaper, published by "The Illustrated London News", which focused on high society and the aristocracy. The magazine is probably best known as the first to publish Agatha Christie's stories, but, in 1897, readers of "The Sketch" were following the fortunes of Dr. Conan Doyle.

January 27, 1897.

The article poignantly speaks for itself, given the current state of "Undershaw". It acts also as a time capsule revealing a Hindhead in transformation.

Writer, Grant Allen, Doyle's friend and neighbour would die in October, 1899. It's a lovely sketch of the Canadian-born science-writer and novelist, Peter Morton called 'the busiest man in England'. An intriguing man, his novel "The Type-Writer Girl" would be published in 1897 under the pseudonym Olive Pratt Rayner and, in the year of his death, the excellent female detective series, "Miss Cayley's Adventures".

March 17, 1897.

The only text accompanying the second image reads thus:

"I noted the other day how popular Hindhead was becoming as a haven for the literary man. Here is the tent which Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle proposes to pitch according to the design of Mr. J. Henry Ball, A.R.I.B.A."

Conan Doyle's tent 1897.

And today. The pretty house... at the end of the valley.

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