Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Wants Nothing To Do With Your Proust Questionnaire
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at 11:20 AM
at the University of Texas at Austin, archivists found this mysterious questionnaire filed among his other works. Doyle signed the bottom of the sheet and indicated that he had taken the quiz on Oct. 29, 1899, at Undershaw, the family’s residence in Surrey, England. But we don’t know why or for whom he filled it out.
Favorite occupation? “Work.” Favorite food and drink? “Anything when hungry—nothing when not.” Favorite color and flower? “Quite impartial.” Favorite heroes in real life? “Men who do their duty without fuss.”When asked “If not yourself, who would you be?” Doyle contributed an answer, crossed it out elaborately, then puckishly noted in a parenthetical: “Hope this is clear.”
Doyle did admit to enjoying the poetry of Rudyard Kipling, whom he had visited personally in Vermont in 1894, and the 1861 historical novel The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade.Thanks to Arcadia Falcone and Jennifer Tisdale of the Harry Ransom Center.
Image courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.