….. a strange breed of men which has vanished away from England—the full-blooded, virile buck, exquisite in his dress, narrow in his thoughts, coarse in his amusements, and eccentric in his habits. They walk across the bright stage of English history with their finicky step, their preposterous cravats, their high collars, their dangling seals, and they vanish into those dark wings from which there is no return. The world has outgrown them, and there is no place now for their strange fashions, their practical jokes, and carefully cultivated eccentricitiesRodney Stone (1896)
I am a lawyer in Toronto, specializing in charities and non-profit organizations. I have a BA and JD from the University of Toronto and my LL.M. from the London School of Economics. I am Chairman of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the ACD Society. As an independent Conan Doyle scholar, I speak and write on topics related to Arthur Conan Doyle, including The Great Shadow (a book on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Napoleonic War writing); introduction to The Complete Brigadier Gerard (Barnes & Noble). With Hartley Nathan, I am co-author of Investigating Sherlock Holmes. My Doylean writing has been published in numerous places, including the Journal of Olympic History, Finest Hour (magazine of the International Churchill Society), The OScholars (Journal of the Oscar Wilde Society), Green Bag Almanac and Reader and in several books published by the Baker Street Irregulars.
About Rodney Stone:
Written in the same productive period of his life as the first Brigadier Gerard stories, The Great Shadow, Uncle Bernac and the play Waterloo, Rodney Stone is many things: a coming of age story, a rattling Dickensian mystery novel, a loving evocation of the prime of bare knuckle boxing, a critique of the effete Regency fops and dandies who surrounded the Prince of Wales, and a portrait of southern England in the early years of the Napoleonic Wars. Conan Doyle had a great interest in the Napoleonic era and particularly in the character of Napoleon, which was a major focus of his novelistic and other writing for almost 15 years of his literary career. While not a great novel, Rodney Stone is a prime example of Conan Doyle’s gifts as a storyteller. The book demonstrates Conan Doyle’s determination to be recognized as an author of historical fiction, as well as the extraordinary amount of research he engaged in for all his historical works, as contrasted to his almost casual approach to Sherlock Holmes and other non-historical fiction.