The double life of famous authors: Example, Arthur Conan Doyle was a Surgeon

Tijana Radeska
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The Double Lives of Famous Authors

How often happens that many of us have “double dreams”? Between the things we do and the things we desire, between what we do and our day dreams.

How often we desire for a few more hours per day, few more years in our lifetime, few pauses for the world to stop spinning and for us to become everything we “always wanted to”. Not everyone gets the time, the energy and the financial support to be or to play more roles in their lives.

Well, read about the “infamous” lives of five famous authors who made it as both authors and…something else. Because of finances or because of desire…they found the time to provide us with ones of the best stories ever written and never forgotten.

Anton Chekhov – Doctor

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov. Source

“Medicine is my lawful wife”, he once said, “and literature is my mistress.”
In 1879, Chekhov completed his schooling and gained admission to the medical school at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. In 1884, he qualified as a physician, which he considered his principal profession though he made a little money from it and treated the poor free of charge.

He was the economic mainstay of his family, for his father could obtain only poorly paid employment after he bankrupted.

Considered one of the greatest short-story writers in history, Chekhov also wrote classic plays like “The Seagull,” “Uncle Vanya,” “Three Sisters” and “The Cherry Orchard.”  Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theater. As a bonus, Chekhov’s medical practice enriched his writing by bringing him into contact with all corners of Russian society, from peasants to aristocrats.

Bram Stoker – Theater manager

Bram Stoker in 1906

Bram Stoker in 1906. Source

Today, he is best known for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula, but during his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and as a business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.
Stoker was bedridden with an unknown illness until he started school at the age of seven when he made a complete recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, “I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave an opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years.”

After his recovery, he grew up without further serious illnesses, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honors as a B.A. in Mathematics.

Newly inspired by his travels and exposure to the arts, in 1875, Stoker published his first horror story, The Primrose Path. He continued to publish writings while managing the successful Lyceum Theatre, including the storyUnder the Sunset (1882) and the novel The Snake’s Pass (1890), earning modest acclaim.  In addition to Dracula, Stoker published more than a dozen novels before his death in 1912.

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