Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 13

Sherlock Holmes



Sherlock Holmesis a fictional detective created by Scottish

author andphysicianSir Arthur Conan Doyle, a graduate
of theUniversity of Edinburgh Medical School. A Londonbased "consulting detective" whose abilities border on the
fantastic, Holmes is known for his astutelogical reasoning,
his ability to adopt almost any disguise and his use
offorensic scienceto solve difficult cases.
Holmes, who first appeared in print in 1887, was featured
in four novels and 56 short stories. The first novel,A Study
in Scarlet, appeared inBeeton's Christmas Annualin 1887
and the second,The Sign of the Four, inLippincott's
Monthly Magazinein 1890. The character's popularity grew
with the first series of short stories inThe Strand Magazine,
beginning with "A Scandal in Bohemia" in 1891; additional
short-story series and two novels (published in serial form)
appeared from then to 1927. The events in the stories take
place from about 1880 to 1914.

All but four stories are narrated by Holmes's friend

and biographer, Dr. John H. Watson. Two are
narrated by Holmes himself

Early life
Details about Sherlock Holmes's life, except for the adventures
in the books, are scarce in Conan Doyle's original stories.
Nevertheless, mentions of his early life and extended family
paint a loose biographical picture of the detective.
An estimate of Holmes's age in "His Last Bow" places his birth
year at 1854; the story, set in August 1914, describes him as 60
years of age.
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. A meeting with
a classmate's father led him to adopt detection as a profession,
and he spent six years after university as a consultant before
financial difficulties led him to accept John H. Watson as a
fellow lodger (when the narrative of the stories begins).

Beginning in 1881 Holmes has lodgings at 221B Baker Street,

London. According to an early story 221B is an apartment at the
upper end of the street, up 17 steps. Until Watson's arrival Holmes
worked alone, only occasionally employing agents from the city's
underclass; these agents included a host of informants, and a group
of street children he called "the Baker Street Irregulars". The
Irregulars appear in three stories: A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of
the Four and "The Adventure of the Crooked Man".
His parents are not mentioned in the stories, although Holmes
mentions that his ancestors were "country squires". In "The
Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", he claims that his great-uncle
was French artist Horace Vernet. Holmes's brother Mycroft, seven
years his senior, is a government official.Mycroft has a unique civil
service position as a kind of human database for all aspects of
government policy but lacks Sherlock's interest in physical
investigation, preferring to spend his time at the Diogenes Club.

Life with Watson

Holmes was in active practice for 23 years, with physician John Watson
co-operating with him for 17.They were roommates before
Watson's 1887 marriage and again after his wife's death. Their residence
is maintained by their landlady, Mrs. Hudson. Most of the stories are
frame narratives, written from Watson's point of view as summaries of
the detective's most interesting cases. Holmes frequently calls Watson's
writing sensational and populist, suggesting that it fails to accurately
and objectively report the "science" of his craft:
Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in
the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it
["A Study in Scarlet"] with romanticism, which produces much the
same effect as if you worked a love-story .... Some facts should be
suppressed, or, at least, a just sense of proportion should be observed in
treating them. The only point in the case which deserved mention was
the curious analytical reasoning from effects to causes, by which I
succeeded in unravelling it.
Sherlock Holmes on John Watson's "pamphlet", The Sign of the Four

Nevertheless, Holmes's friendship with Watson is

his most significant relationship. When Watson is
injured by a bullet, although the wound turns out to
be "quite superficial", Watson is moved by Holmes's
It was worth a wound; it was worth many wounds;
to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay
behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were
dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were
shaking. For the one and only time I caught a
glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain.
All my years of humble but single-minded service
culminated in that moment of revelation.

The Great Hiatus

Conan Doyle wrote the first set of stories over the course of a
decade. Wishing to devote more time to his historical novels,
he killed off Holmes in "The Final Problem" (which appeared
in print in 1893, and is set in 1891). After resisting public
pressure for eight years, the author wrote The Hound of the
Baskervilles (which appeared in 1901, with an implicit setting
before Holmes's death; some theorise that it occurs after "The
Return", with Watson planting clues to an earlier date).In
1903 Conan Doyle wrote "The Adventure of the Empty
House", set in 1894; Holmes reappears, explaining to a
stunned Watson that he had faked his death in "The Final
Problem" to fool his enemies. "The Adventure of the Empty
House" marks the beginning of the second set of stories,
which Conan Doyle wrote until 1927.

Drug use
Holmes occasionally uses addictive drugs, especially in the
absence of stimulating cases. He uses cocaine, which he
injects in a seven-percent solution with a syringe kept in a
Morocco leather case. Although Holmes also dabbles in
morphine, he expresses strong disapproval when he visits an
opium den; both drugs were legal in late-19th-century
England. Watson and Holmes use tobacco, smoking
cigarettes, cigars and pipes (a socially acceptable habit at the
time), and the detective is an expert at identifying tobaccoash residue.
As a physician Watson strongly disapproves of his friend's
cocaine habit, describing it as the detective's "only vice", and
concerned about its effect on Holmes's mental health and

Methods of detection

Holmes's primary intellectual detection method is abductive

reasoning."From a drop of water", he writes, "a logician could infer
the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or
heard of one or the other".Holmesian deduction consists primarily of
observation-based inferences, such as his study of cigar ashes.The
detective's guiding principle, as he says in chapter six of The Sign of
the Four and elsewhere in the stories, is: "When you have eliminated
the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the
truth".In "A Scandal in Bohemia", Holmes deduces that Watson had
gotten wet lately and had "a most clumsy and careless servant girl".
When Watson asks how Holmes knows this, the detective answers:
It is simplicity itself .... My eyes tell me that on the inside of your left
shoe, just where the firelight strikes it, the leather is scored by six
almost parallel cuts. Obviously they have been caused by someone
who has very carelessly scraped round the edges of the sole in order
to remove crusted mud from it. Hence, you see, my double
deduction that you had been out in vile weather, and that you had a
particularly malignant boot-slitting specimen of the London slavey.

The New Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a modern version of the detective

(with Martin Freeman as Watson) in the BBC One TV series
Sherlock, which premiered on 25 July 2010. In the series, created
by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the stories' original Victorian
setting is now present-day London. Cumberbatch's Holmes uses
modern technology (texting and blogging) to solve crimes,and
nicotine patches to aid his cognitive process.
Also in 2012, Cumberbatch provided the voice and motioncapture for both Smaug the Dragon and the Necromancer in An
Unexpected Journey, the first installment of The Hobbit film series
based on the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien. He reprised his roles as
Smaug and the Necromancer for The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
and The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).For the motion-capture
aspect of the films, he used a suit and facial markers to highlight
the dragon's expressions and movements. Cumberbatch told Total
Film "You just have to lose your shit on a carpeted floor, in a place
that looks a little bit like a mundane government building. It was
just me as well, with four static cameras and all the sensors."

The End