The Great Boer War
It may come as a surprise that the creator of Sherlock Holmes wrote a history of the Boer War. The then 40-year-old novelist wanted to see the war first hand as a soldier, but the Victorian army balked at having popular author wielding a pen in its ranks. The army did accept him as a doctor and Doyle was knighted in 1902 for his work with a field hospital in Bloemfontein. Doyle's vivid description of the battles are probably thanks to the eye-witness accounts he got from his patients.