Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh and studied medicine at the university there, after an education in Jesuit schools in Lancashire and Austria. He had an active career as a doctor and opthalmologist, including volunteering in Bloemfontein during the Boer War, but also in the public sphere as Deputy-Lieutenant of Surrey, writer of the widely read historical works and political pamphlets, vociferous opponent of miscarriages of justice and twice parliamentary candidate (although he was never elected). Yet it was for his brilliant creation of the first scientific detective, Sherlock Holmes, that he achieved great fame - so great that after he killed Sherlock off to concentrate more on his historical work, he was forced to bring the character back to life in The Hound of the Baskervilles. In later years, the Jesuit-educated Conan Doyle converted to Spiritualism, writing works such as The Coming of the Fairies, and was a friend of the magician Houdini. He died of a heart attack in 1930, at the age of seventy-one.
The Five Orange-Pips and Other Cases is also published in the Penguin English Library.