It is often hard to recall the exact circumstances of a meeting. But I can say for certain that I first met Dr Arthur Conan Doyle on the morning of July 11th, 1900. We were waiting to sail from Cape Town back to Southampton on the SS Briton, the most graceful of the Union mail steamers.
Like every other available vessel, the Briton had been requisitioned as a troop transport. It had done well in the early days of the...