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Arthur Conan Doyle and the case of the wronged Parsee

How the Sherlock Holmes creator helped a victim of racial injustice

By Emily Lawford   April 2021
Arthur Conan Doyle on the case Credit: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Arthur Conan Doyle on the case Credit: World History Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the most famous detective of all time, once attempted to solve a real case. In 1906, Conan Doyle was contacted by George Edalji, a half-Indian lawyer who had been wrongly convicted of butchering horses in the village of Great Wyrley, near Birmingham. Shrabani Basurecounts how the author was so indignant at Edalji’s treatment—by the police, the legal system and the press—that he was determined to clear Edalji’s name and find the true culprit.

The trial had been a farce, yet the lawyer was sentenced to seven years in prison. There was no…

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