|Description: A blue hard covered book entitled "The Great Boer War” by A. Conan Doyle. There is a red and white rectangle on the front with the British and South African Flag. On the inside is an inscription that reads "Bessie with love from Emily Draper, Christmas 1900." |
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, D.L. (22 May 1859- 7 July 1930) was a Scottish author most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction. Following the Boer War in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century and the condemnation from around the world over the United Kingdom's conduct, Conan Doyle wrote a short pamphlet titled, 'The War in South Africa: Its Cause and Conduct', which justified the UK's role in the Boer war, and was widely translated. Conan Doyle believed that it was this pamphlet that resulted in 1902 in his being knighted and appointed Deputy-Lieutenant of Surrey. He also in 1900 wrote the longer book, 'The Great Boer War'. REF: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Conan_Doyle visited Jan. 4, 2008.
The book belonged to Elizabeth M. Harris (1835-1910), eldest daughter of Elizabeth (née Molony) (1829-1884) and Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884). Also known as Bessie, she was born on board a ship as her parents emigrated to Canada. She lived at Benares until 1888, when a series of inheritances allowed her, with her sister Lucy, to buy a house on St. George Street and later Beverly Street in Toronto. Some of their furniture is in the Benares collection. Bessie died in 1910.
Emily Draper was a cousin of Beverly Sayers, Annie Harris' husband. Beverly was related to William Henry Draper (1801-1877), Canada's first colonial politician to be styled premier and was instrumental in establishing the Conservative party. He supported the Family Compact, which attempted to create an aristocracy linked by family, patronage and political and social beliefs to the professional upper middle class. See: George Metcalf, 'William Henry Draper', _The Canadian Encyclopaedia, Year 2000 Edition_ (McClelland and Stewart, 1999), 693.