Doyle also wrote four volumes of poetry and a series of stage works—his first was Jane Annie , an unsuccessful attempt at a libretto to an operetta, which he wrote with . Barrie .  Doyle was an enthusiastic supporter of the Boer War , and wrote two histories of the events. During the First World War he also wrote extensively on that conflict, both short articles and a six-volume history. Owing to the close successive deaths of his son and brother, Doyle turned to spiritualism and wrote extensively on the subject;   his biographer Owen Dudley Edwards writes that at the time of Doyle's death in July 1930, while the writer "most wanted to be remembered as a champion of spiritualism and as a historical novelist, it is Sherlock Holmes who has continued to capture the imagination of the public." 
"We had a fine rock boa to play the title-rôle, a snake which was the pride of my heart, so one can imagine my disgust when I saw that one critic ended his disparaging review by the words, 'The crisis of the play was produced by the appearance of a palpably artificial serpent.' I was inclined to offer him a goodly sum if he would undertake to go to bed with it. The real fault of the play was that in trying to give Holmes a worthy antagonist I overdid it and produced a more interesting personality in the villain. The terrible ending was also against it."