From the book jacket: In the vast expanse of late-Victorian Britain, two boys come to life: George,
the son of a Midlands vicar, and Arthur, in shabby genteel Edinburgh, both of
them feeling at once near to and impossibly distant from the beating heart of
Empire. One falls prey to a series of pranks en route to a legal vocation, while
the other studies medicine before discovering a different calling entirely, and
it is years before their destinies are entwined in a mesmerizing alliance. We
follow each through outrageous accusation and unrivaled success, through faith
and perseverance and dogged self-recrimination, whether in the dock awaiting
complete disgrace or at the height of fame while desperately in love with a
woman not his wife, and gradually realize that George is half-Indian and that
Arthur becomes the creator of the world's most famous detective.
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