Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. Two autograph notebooks, containing research material principally on the history of French Canada and New England for his novel The Refugees, including notes on La Salle and his discovery of the north west, the Old Regime in Canada, the Pilgrim Fathers, American Indians (with map drawn by Conan Doyle showing location of tribes), Canadian and American Scenery, French seventeenth-century history (Bossuet, Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV), literature (The Scarlet Letter) and other subjects, with reading lists (one giving British Museum references), and a sketch for the opening of the first chapter "Ephraim Savage in Paris", 3 pages: one, 16 pages (all remaining) plus blanks, 4to, patterned red cloth; the second, inscribed on upper cover '1620. A. Conan Doyle', original cloth-backed marbled boards, frayed, some pages loose.
Autograph notes, comprising ideas and research for the preliminary stages of The Refugees, headed 'Amos White, the young New Englander', 'Ephraim Savage [originally 'William Smith'] - Older New England Puritan of the Old School', 'Amory de Catinat', 'Theophile de Catinat', 'Eugenie de Catinat', 'Generalia', 'The Court', 'Massachussets', 'Louis', 'Madame de Montespan', 14 pages, folio, original staple.
Conan Doyle wrote to his mother in January 1892 when he was at work on The Refugees, 'this should be a new thing to Americans, and I shall be surprised if it does not fetch them. If I, a Britisher, could draw their early types so as to win their approval, I should be indeed proud, for by such international associations, nations are drawn together, and on the drawing together of these two nations depends the future of the world'.
The Refugees was planned in 1891 and written between December 1891 and February 1892. Conan Doyle refuted criticism that he had portrayed the Iroquois Indians in too harsh a light. (3)