Pic of the day: Charles Altamont Doyle


Charles Doyle, father of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, was a troubled man. He suffered from depression and became an alcoholic; eventually he was put away in an asylum. Like his father John and his much more successful brother Dick, he was an artist. He was the first illustrator of Holmes, in ‘A Study in Scarlet’, and painted mainly fairy and fantasy pictures. He never really succeeded as an artist, although whether it was his frustration over this that caused his mental health or vice versa can’t now be established. It must have galled him to see his brother achieve early fame as a Punch illustrator and a fairy painter of great merit (I’ll post something by him soon). This work, entitled ‘Self Portatit: a Meditation’, was carried out during one his many bouts of depression and has a distinctly eerie quality, showing him tormented by sprites and ghosts.

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About UncannyUK

I am the editor of Uncanny UK (www.uncannyuk.com), a website devoted to British ghosts and folklore. I am the former editor of Paranormal Magazine and the author five books on Welsh folklore. Just launched Apparition Developments, first product of which is Ghost Finder London - an app plotting 300 haunted sites in London for iPhone. I'm a highly experienced journalist and corporate copywriter. I'm an enthusiast on the subjects of UK folklore, the supernatural and antiquities and am fond of old horror and sci-fi movies, cult TV such as Dr Who and I collect Victorian/Edwardian magazines. I also enjoy weird art and macabre literature by the likes of M R James, E F Benson, Algernon Blackwood, W Hope-Hodgson, H P Lovecraft etc. I live in North Wales, which is a very spooky place.
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