It was whilst studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh that Arthur Conan Doyle met Professor Joseph Bell – the inspiration for the author’s famous character Sherlock Holmes.
Bell was an eminent surgeon at the Edinburgh Royal In rmary and lecturer
at the Medical School next door. Amongst
his many achievements he founded a nursing institute and acted as surgeon to Queen Victoria when she was in Scotland.
However it was his ability to observe minute details about his patients that caught the imagination of Doyle. For a while he acted
as Bell’s assistant and became fascinated
at the way the Professor could deduce a person’s occupation and origins from closely analysing their appearance. Years later, when Doyle had become a successful author, he wrote to Bell: “It is most certainly to you that I owe Sherlock Holmes.”