Arthur & George

Arthur & George (2005) is the tenth novel by English author Julian Barnes which takes as its basis the true story of the "Great Wyrley Outrages".

Arthur & George
First edition
AuthorJulian Barnes
Cover artistBill Sanderson
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreHistorical novel
PublisherJonathan Cape
Publication date
7 July 2005
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages352 pp

Plot introduction

Set at the turn of the 20th century, the story follows the separate but intersecting lives of two very different British men: a half-Indian solicitor and son of a Vicar, George Edalji, and the world-famous author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Roughly one-third of the book traces the story of Edalji's trial, conviction, and imprisonment for a crime he did not commit. About one-third of the book traces the story of Doyle's life and his relationships with his first wife Louisa Hawkins and his platonic lover Jean Leckie. Roughly one-third of the book concerns Doyle's attempt to clear the name of Edalji and uncover the true culprit of the crime. Julian Barnes called it "a contemporary novel set in the past" and the book does not aim to stick closely to the historical record at every point.

Characters in "Arthur & George"


Playwright David Edgar has dramatized the work for the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, with the opening performance scheduled for 19 March 2010.[1][2]

In 2014, for broadcast in 2015, ITV commissioned a three-part television series Arthur & George based on Arthur & George, starring Martin Clunes as Arthur Conan Doyle.

Awards and nominations

Release details

  • 2005, UK, Jonathan Cape ISBN 0-224-07703-1, Pub date 7 July 2005, hardback
  • 2005, Canada, Random House ISBN 0-679-31417-2, Pub date 9 September 2005, hardback
  • 2006, USA, Alfred A. Knopf ISBN 0-307-26310-X, Pub date 3 January 2006, hardback


  1. "The George Edalji Case". Birmingham City Council. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
  2. Edgar, David (2010). Arthur and George (Stage Version). Barnes, Julian. London: Nick Hern Books. ISBN 978-1-84842-096-0. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
3. Oldfield, Roger Outrage: The Edalji Five and the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes, Vanguard Press (ISBN 978 184386 601 5)
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