In his essay, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described one of his stories :

'The Illustrious Client' as having a certain dramatic quality and moving adequately in lofty circles.

I don't quite get what 'moving adequately in lofty cirlces' means.

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    "Circle" refers to ones social connections. "Lofty" means "above average" or "superior". – Hot Licks Jun 11 '16 at 2:51

In this case, Doyle means lofty as in 'elevated in status', and 'circles' are the social circles or 'arenas' one operates within.

Hence, if this character can move 'adequately in lofty circles' it means they are able to perform to a level expected of those particular circles inhabited by those of 'elevated status'.

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