Updated: Aug 6
Sherlock Holmes, who is widely regarded as literature’s most famous consulting detective, made his debut in The Strand Magazine back in 1887.
A Study in Scarlet, which launched the career of the little known Scottish doctor, Arthur Conan Doyle, was the first of four novels and 58 short stories.
Above image. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
However, the Holmes legacy is even greater with more than 25,000 stage adaptations, films, television productions and publications showcasing the detective’s skills.
The Guinness World Records lists Holmes as the most portrayed literary human character in film and television, and to this day many people around the world believe Holmes shares rooms with his friend and biographer, Dr John Watson, at 221B Baker Street, London.
The fact that the address – which is now home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum – receives many requests for help each year is testament to that fact.
So where did Holmes originate?
The popular belief is that Conan Doyle’s medical school mentor, Dr Joseph Bell, whose diagnostic skills were legendary, was the inspiration for Holmes, but other great writers have been credited with stimulating Conan Doyle’s methodical imagination.
Above image. Joseph Bell & Sherlock Holmes
Leading among these is Edgar Allan Poe, whose detective C. Auguste Dupin made his first appearance in the Murders in the Rue Morgue, in 1842, and Maximilien Heller who came from the pen of Henry Cauvain in the1870s.
Although Conan Doyle liked to nominate Bell as his principal inspiration, with his links between medical investigations and the detection of crime, the good doctor once wrote to the author: ”You are yourself Sherlock Holmes and you well know it.”
To quote Holmes’ Wikipedia entre:
’Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, dedication, forensic science, and logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic.’
The Conan Doyle stories are all set in the Victorian or Edwardian era, between 1880 - 1914, although they were written between until 1927.
For the record, Conan Doyle, later Sir Arthur, was born May 22, 1859, and died on July 7, 1930, at the age of 71. He was twice married His first wife was Louis Hawkins, who died in 1906, and his second wife, Jean Leckie, who he wed the following year. He had five children.
Written by Doug A. Kennedy
The second part to Dougs piece will be uploaded this afternoon, where he will explain a little more about The Musgrave Ritual