Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective created by British author Arthur Conan Doyle.
62 Facts About Sherlock Holmes
Avid readers of the Sherlock Holmes stories helped create the modern practice of fandom.
Watson attempts to compliment Sherlock Holmes by comparing him to Dupin, to which Sherlock Holmes replies that he found Dupin to be "a very inferior fellow" and Lecoq to be "a miserable bungler".
Conan Doyle repeatedly said that Sherlock Holmes was inspired by the real-life figure of Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, whom Conan Doyle met in 1877 and had worked for as a clerk.
Sherlock Holmes's parents are not mentioned, although Holmes mentions that his "ancestors" were "country squires".
Sherlock Holmes's brother Mycroft, seven years his senior, is a government official.
Sherlock Holmes describes his brother as the more intelligent of the two, but notes that Mycroft lacks any interest in physical investigation, preferring to spend his time at the Diogenes Club.
Sherlock Holmes says that he first developed his methods of deduction as an undergraduate; his earliest cases, which he pursued as an amateur, came from fellow university students.
Sherlock Holmes frequently calls Watson's records of Sherlock Holmes's cases sensational and populist, suggesting that they fail to accurately and objectively report the "science" of his craft:.
Nevertheless, when Sherlock Holmes recorded a case himself, he was forced to concede that he could more easily understand the need to write it in a manner that would appeal to the public rather than his intention to focus on his own technical skill.
Sherlock Holmes's clients vary from the most powerful monarchs and governments of Europe, to wealthy aristocrats and industrialists, to impoverished pawnbrokers and governesses.
Sherlock Holmes is known only in select professional circles at the beginning of the first story, but is already collaborating with Scotland Yard.
The first set of Sherlock Holmes stories was published between 1887 and 1893.
However, the recorded public reaction to Sherlock Holmes's death was unlike anything previously seen for fictional events.
In 1903, Conan Doyle wrote "The Adventure of the Empty House"; set in 1894, Sherlock Holmes reappears, explaining to a stunned Watson that he had faked his death to fool his enemies.
Sherlock Holmes has a flair for showmanship, often keeping his methods and evidence hidden until the last possible moment so as to impress observers.
Sherlock Holmes occasionally uses addictive drugs, especially in the absence of stimulating cases.
Sherlock Holmes sometimes used morphine and sometimes cocaine, the latter of which he injects in a seven-percent solution; both drugs were legal in 19th-century England.
However, Watson notes that Sherlock Holmes would refuse to help even the wealthy and powerful if their cases did not interest him.
In "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane", Sherlock Holmes writes, "Women have seldom been an attraction to me, for my brain has always governed my heart".
Sherlock Holmes's memory is kept alive by the photograph of Adler that Holmes received for his part in the case.
Sherlock Holmes is a cryptanalyst, telling Watson that "I am fairly familiar with all forms of secret writing, and am myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyse one hundred and sixty separate ciphers".
Sherlock Holmes adds that in this he predates the science showing how helpful this is to the brain.
Sherlock Holmes observes the dress and attitude of his clients and suspects, noting skin marks, contamination, emotional state, and physical condition in order to deduce their origins and recent history.
The style and state of wear of a person's clothes and personal items are commonly relied on; in the stories Sherlock Holmes is seen applying his method to items such as walking sticks, pipes, and hats.
For example, in "A Scandal in Bohemia", Sherlock Holmes infers that Watson had got wet lately and had "a most clumsy and careless servant girl".
When Watson asks how Sherlock Holmes knows this, the detective answers:.
Sherlock Holmes uses analytical chemistry for blood residue analysis and toxicology to detect poisons; Holmes's home chemistry laboratory is mentioned in "The Naval Treaty".
For example, fingerprints were proposed to be distinct in Conan Doyle's day, and while Sherlock Holmes used a thumbprint to solve a crime in "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", the story was published in 1903, two years after Scotland Yard's fingerprint bureau opened.
In others, Sherlock Holmes feigns injury or illness to incriminate the guilty.
Until Watson's arrival at Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes largely worked alone, only occasionally employing agents from the city's underclass.
The best known of Sherlock Holmes's agents are a group of street children he called "the Baker Street Irregulars".
In "The Problem of Thor Bridge", Sherlock Holmes uses Watson's revolver to solve the case through an experiment.
Sherlock Holmes is described by Watson as an expert at singlestick, and uses his cane twice as a weapon.
In several stories Sherlock Holmes wields a riding crop, described in the latter story as his "favourite weapon".
Sherlock Holmes is an adept bare-knuckle fighter; "The Gloria Scott" mentions that Sherlock Holmes boxed while at university.
Sherlock Holmes ended a string of abuse by a vicious backhander, which I failed to entirely avoid.
In "The Adventure of the Empty House", Sherlock Holmes tells Watson that he used a Japanese martial art known as baritsu to fling Moriarty to his death in the Reichenbach Falls.
In Japan, Sherlock Holmes became immensely popular in the country in the 1890s as it was opening up to the West, and they are cited as two British fictional Victorians who left an enormous creative and cultural legacy there.
Many fans of Sherlock Holmes have written letters to Holmes's address, 221B Baker Street.
Sherlock Holmes's continuing popularity has led to many reimaginings of the character in adaptations.
Sherlock Holmes was the only fictional character so honoured, along with eminent Britons such as Lord Byron, Benjamin Disraeli, and Florence Nightingale.
The Sherlock Holmes is a public house in Northumberland Street in London which contains a large collection of memorabilia related to Holmes, the original collection having been put together for display in Baker Street during the Festival of Britain in 1951.
In 2019, a statue of Holmes was unveiled in Chester, Illinois, United States, as part of a series of statues honouring cartoonist E C Segar and his characters.
The Sherlock Holmes Society was dissolved later in the 1930s, but was succeeded by a society with a slightly different name, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, which was founded in 1951 and remains active.
Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories introduced multiple literary devices that have become major conventions in detective fiction, such as the companion character who is not as clever as the detective and has solutions explained to him, as with Dr Watson in the Holmes stories.
The Sherlock Holmes stories established crime fiction as a respectable genre popular with readers of all backgrounds, and Doyle's success inspired many contemporary detective stories.
Sherlock Holmes influenced the creation of other "eccentric gentleman detective" characters, like Agatha Christie's fictional detective Hercule Poirot, introduced in 1920.
Laurie R King instead argues that details in "The Gloria Scott" indicate that Holmes finished his second year of university in 1880 or 1885.
In 1990, the Sherlock Holmes Museum opened on Baker Street in London, followed the next year by a museum in Meiringen dedicated to the detective.
The Sherlock Holmes stories have been scrutinized by a few academics for themes of empire and colonialism.
Susan Cannon Harris claims that themes of contagion and containment are common in the Sherlock Holmes series, including the metaphors of Eastern foreigners as the root cause of "infection" within and around Europe.
The popularity of Sherlock Holmes has meant that many writers other than Arthur Conan Doyle have created tales of the detective in a wide variety of different media, with varying degrees of fidelity to the original characters, stories, and setting.
Mycroft Holmes has been the subject of several efforts: Enter the Lion by Michael P Hodel and Sean M Wright, a four-book series by Quinn Fawcett, and 2015's Mycroft Holmes, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse.
Sherlock Holmes's Holmes, semi-retired in Sussex, meets a teenaged American girl.
The 1899 play Sherlock Holmes, by Conan Doyle and William Gillette, was a synthesis of several Conan Doyle stories.
The character has enjoyed numerous radio adaptations, beginning with Edith Meiser's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which ran from 1930 to 1936.
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce continued with their roles for most of the run of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, airing from 1939 to 1950.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modern version of the detective and Martin Freeman as a modern version of John Watson in the BBC One TV series Sherlock Holmes, which premiered in 2010.
The 2015 film Mr Holmes starred Ian McKellen as a retired Sherlock Holmes living in Sussex, in 1947, who grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman.
The 2018 television adaptation, Miss Sherlock Holmes, was a Japanese-language production, and the first adaptation with a woman in the signature role.
The remaining ten Sherlock Holmes stories moved out of copyright between 1 January 2019 and 1 January 2023, leaving the stories and characters completely in the public domain in the United States as of the latter date.