A daily note on some event in the history of mystery fiction.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
8/30/1889 Dinner party at the Langhorn Hotel
August 30, 1889. A major literary event happened on this night, which had great import for the mystery field. You see, when Arthur Conan Doyle introduced Sherlock Holmes to the world in A Study in Scarlet the world wasn't much interested. But when he wrote a historical novel called Micah Clarke it became a best-seller. Joseph M. Stoddard, the publisher of Lippincott's Magazine, which published Scarlet in America, happened to be visiting England that summer, and saw the pupularity of Clarke. So he invited Doyle to a dinner at the Langhorn Hotel and suggested he give Holmes another shot. This led to The Sign of Four, and eventually to the short stories that made Holmes a household word. Oh, Stoddart invited another writer to the event and suggested he write something for the magazine as well. So Oscar Wilde produced The Portrait of Dorian Gray.